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GOLF FOR WOMEN 




GENEVIEVE HECKER. 
(iMrs. Charles T. Stout.) 



->^ 



Golf for Women 



By 

GENEVIEVE HECKER 

(Mrs. Charles T. Stout) 

National Woman Champion igoi-02 and igo2-OJ ; 

Did Not Compete igoj-04 ; Champion of 

Women's Metropolitan Association 

in igoo-oi and igoi-02 



With a Chapter by 

RHONA K. ADAIR 

Three Tears English Open Champion and Five Tears 
Irish Open Chat, 



New York: THE BAKER & TAYLOR COMPANY 
33-37 East Seventeenth Street, Union Square, North 



LIteRAKY ..+ CONGRESS 
Twe Copies Received 

MAR 9 1904 

■^ Copyright S»itry 

, CLASS ^ XXc. No 

; ^ s S ^ ^ 



S?1 



Copyright, 1902, 
By harper & BROTHERS 



Copyright, 1904, 
By THE BAKER & TAYLOR CO. 



CONTENTS 



CHAPTER PAGE 

I, Introductory, ii 

II. Preliminary Training 41 

III. The Stance 59 

IV. The Swing, 73 

V. The Swing {Continued), .... 86 

VI. The Long Game, 95 

VII. The Long Game {Continued), . . . no 

VIII. The Short Game, 121 

IX. The Short Game {Continued), . , . 130 

X. Approaching and Putting, . . . 140 
XI. Putting {Concluded), and Tourney 

Play, 153 

XII. Hazards and General Remarks, . . 171 

XIII. Golf Courses for Women, . . . 196 
Impressions of American Golf, by Miss 

Rhona K. Adair, 205 



ILLUSTRATIONS 



Miss Genevieve Hecker (Mrs. Charles 

T. Stout), .... Frontispiece 

A Set of Modern Clubs — Two Views, Facing Page 38 



The Driving Grip, 






46 


Two Forms of Bad Grip, 


. 




48. 


The Address— Front and Side Views, . 


(( 


52 


The Wrist Action in Driving 


-The 






Up-Swing, 


. 


€€ 


58 


The Wrist Action in Driving- 


-The 






Finish, 




" 


60^ 


The Up-Swing, 




tc 


64 


The Follow-Through, 




" 


70 


Top of Swing (Back View), 




" 


72 


Finish of Swing (Back View), 




ft 


72 


Top of Swing (Side View), 




" 


74 


Finish of Swing (Side View), 




tt 


74 


Top of Cleek Shot, 




<t 


114 


Finish of Cleek Shot, 

7 




tt 


114 



8 , ILLUSTRATIONS 

Top of Mid-Iron Shot, . . Facing Page 1 1 6 

Finish of Mid-Iron Shot, . . *« ii6 

Grip for Iron-Clubs, . . . ** ii8 

Grip for Approaching, . . . ** 120 

Top of Swing for 3 5 -yard Approach ) 

V ** 122 

Finish of Swing for 3 5 -yard Approach \ 

Top of Swing for 80-yard Approach 

Finish of Swing for 80-yard Approach 

Beginning of Cutting Under- Stroke ) / 

Finish of Cutting Under- Stroke ) 

Positions in Putting, . . . ** 138 ' 

Standing Square — Front View, . . ** 146 

Standing Square — Side View, . . ** 146 

The Putting Grip, . . . ** 150 

Miss RhonaK. Adair— Putting, . ** 188 



/ 
126 



PUBLISHERS' NOTE 

The publishers of this volume beg to ac- 
knowledge the courtesy of Messrs. Harper & 
Brothers, publishers of " Golf," in permit- 
ting a reproduction of the chapters of this 
book and the photographs, which originally 
appeared in that magazine. 



GOLF FOR WOMEN 

CHAPTER I 

INTRODUCTORY 

yl LTHOUGH there have been in the 
r-\ past few years a great many books 
written upon golf, detailing how to 
play the game, and the things one should do 
and likewise leave undone, there has never 
been a book which presented the Royal and 
Ancient game to the feminine inquiring mind 
and from a woman's standpoint. It is my 
purpose and desire to supply this deficiency, so 
far as I may be able to do so, in the chapters 
that shall make up this book. 

No matter how valuable to a man the pres- 
ent text-books of the game may be, I have 
found by my own personal experience and 
that of many of my friends that there were 
11 



IS GOLF FOR WOMEN 

many points about the best of them which 
were, perhaps, familiar as the A B C's to a 
man, but wholly incomprehensible to a 
woman. 

That this is quite to be expected is natural, 
for how can a man understand the ways and 
moods and means which must be taken into 
consideration when a woman prepares to 
golf? 

Until quite recently — that is to say, the last 
six or seven years — women's place in golf has 
been so comparatively unimportant that no 
woman has felt it incumbent upon her to blaze 
the path, as it were, for her faltering yet en- 
thusiastic sisters. Happily, that time has now 
gone, and it has gone never to return. Women 
in England and Scotland, as well as in Amer- 
ica, but particularly here, have taken up the 
game with so much enthusiasm — ^have become 
such " cranks," to quote from the slang of the 
day — and, better than all, have become so 
thoroughly alive to its benefits from a purely 
physical standpoint, that it does not seem as 



INTRODUCTORY 13 

though it would ever be allowed to drop into 
the oblivion which has heretofore followed all 
the sports which have in turn been the fad of 
the hour. 

Nor is woman's place in golf secured to her 
only by the sufferance and good-nature of her 
masculine relatives. When she appears on a 
links the flutter of her skirt is not the signal 
for a deep and heart-felt, albeit suppressed, 
burst of profanity, even from those devotees 
who consider that the old Scotchman who 
said, ** Never, my boys, allow business to in- 
terfere with golf," uttered one of the greatest 
sayings of the world. 

It is quite true that the Powers that Be at 
St. Andrews, Scotland, by a majority of one, 
refused recently to allow the Woman's 
national championship to be played there, 
but such, a storm of indignation arose over 
this action, in both the ranks of the 
club and among the towns-people, all of whom 
under various rules and restrictions use the 
historic old course, that the committee have 



14 GOLF FOR WOMEN 

practically decided to recall their decision, 
and most humbly invite the ladies to 
use their links, and, if they like, their clubs 
and everything that is theirs, for the cham- 
pionship meeting, and as long after as they 
please. Such is woman's delightful position 
across the water, and here it is even more firm. 

When women in America first began to play 
golf, they were allowed at many of the big 
clubs to use the links only at certain hours on 
certain days when it was thought that their 
presence would not incommode the Lords of 
Creation. 

The idea that a woman could learn to play 
a really good and serious game of golf was 
laughed to scorn, and if there were many wo- 
men who evinced a desire to play at the vari- 
ous clubs, numbers of them would doubtless 
have followed the example of the Shinnecock 
Hills Club and laid out a course exclusively 
for women. 

The small number who, at its first intro- 
duction, took up the game, however, made 



INTRODUCTORY 15 

this quite unnecessary; so, at least, it was 
thought. 

The first courses laid out in America were 
very short, and consequently easy. That of 
the Morris County Club, one of the finest in 
the country then, as now, had in those days but 
seven holes, and not one of them was over a 
drive and iron-shot in length. The women 
were therefore able to reach them with a drive 
and brassey, and so were as well off as the 
men, and their scores soon began to compare 
very favorably with those of their masculine 
competitors. This was also true of other 
courses and clubs, and the women naturally 
asked for the privilege of playing at any and 
all hours, urging as an excuse their ability to 
make low scores. 

After much hesitation and head-shaking 
on the part of those men who, never having 
had sisters, had no idea of the physical capa- 
bilities of a girl, and her ability to do anything 
she really wanted to, permission was granted 
^reluctantly, it must be confessed, but nev- 



16 GOLF FOR WOMEN 

ertheless granted — to them except on Satur- 
day afternoons, when the course was sure to 
be overcrowded by masculine golfers. 

The women took their hardly won permis- 
sion with joy, and proceeded to demonstrate 
that they could play good golf by taking on 
their detractors for a round and soundly beat- 
ing them. From that day women have had an 
undisputed place on the links, and for the 
past three or four years it has been esteemed 
an honor for even the Amateur champion to 
be asked to play in a mixed foursome by 
any one of a dozen of our leading women 
players. 

As an evidence of how steadily and impress- 
iv^ely the quality of golf which our women are 
playing is improving, the action on July i, 
1902, of the Shinnecock Hills Golf Club, one 
of the oldest, finest, and most conservative 
clubs in America, of giving up the maintenance 
of its women's links, speaks volumes. This is 
only one instance, but it shows the tendency. 

Another point which shows clearly how 



INTRODUCTORY 17 

women are improving in their standard of 
play is the fact that it is not now customary 
to shorten the men's course for a woman's 
tournament — even when the drives from the 
tee require a carry of from lOO to 120 yards, 
and the bunkers placed to catch a poor second 
shot are proportionately far away. 

Still another and a most convincing argu- 
ment, were it needed, to prove the advance in 
woman's skill, is the fact that with hardly an 
exception the women who were the stars of 
the country four or five years ago are hardly 
rated as being in the second class now, al- 
though they are invariably playing as well as, 
and in most cases better than they were, when 
at the zenith of their fame. Nor is it in any 
one or two particular points in which the 
woman of to-day excels those of a few years 
ago. It is in every department of the game. 
She drives a much longer ball, she plays her 
brassey and iron-shots better, and she lays her 
approaches closer to the hole. If her putting 
has not gained in the improvement to the 



18 GOLF FOR WOMEN 

same extent as have the other departments of 
her play, it has held its own at least. For 
these facts there are two reasons accountable. 
One is that with the spread of the game the 
number of first-class players is, of course, in- 
creased. For instance, if there is one in every 
looo, in every 10,000 there are ten, and if this 
ratio is carried out to a ten times greater de- 
gree, these 100 players form a large enough 
number to affect the percentage of good play- 
ers materially ; the other reason lies in the age 
at which the women who are prominent to- 
day began to golf. 

Before proceeding further, however, I wish 
to most emphatically emphasize the fact that 
there is no royal road to success in golf. It 
comes only by the hardest kind of assiduous 
and thoughtful practice. 

Furthermore, the practice must be done in 
the proper way. 

Great achievements can be accomplished 
only when they are attempted in the orthodox 
style, and to acquire the proper swing should 



INTRODUCTORY 19 

be the first and most lasting ambition of every 
woman who sets out to master the sport. 

If she does not master it, her efforts to im- 
prove will all be in vain, and no matter how 
brilliantly she may play for a single round by 
means of some unorthodox trick of style, it 
will surely prove but a delusion and a snare 
in the end. 

To play golf of the championship class, It 
is essential that a woman start to learn the 
game before she is thirty years old, and each 
year she begins before that, after reaching her 
fourteenth birthday, is just that much in her 
favor. It is true that we have in this country 
a number of women who have obtained na- 
tional prominence as golfers who did not be- 
gin to play until they were thirty years or 
more of age, but it has also been conclusively 
proven by the records of the game that the 
number of these women is becoming smaller 
each year, and a study of their style of play 
demonstrates that they have not the power to 
execute the strokes of the game requiring the 



20 GOLF FOR WOMEN 

utmost freedom of movement with anything 
like the ability which their younger and more 
lissome sisters possess. 

To judge from the style of play adopted by 
the best examples of this class of women golf- 
ers, it will be found that their lack of early 
training lies more particularly in their driving 
and brassey play, although all shots requiring 
a full stroke are more or less affected. None 
of them have ever acquired a full swing, their 
club under no circumstances ever describing 
more than a three-quarter circle, and usually 
not going back further than does the club in 
the " baseball " swing, which men like Mr. H. 
P. Toler and Mr. J. A. Tyng have made 
famous, and which is really hardly more than 
a half-stroke. 

This is also the stroke of nearly every other 
woman who has taken up golf at the age of 
thirty or more, and while it may be due in 
part to the fact that women of that age are 
much more apt to wear corsets and tight 
clothes generally than are the girls in their 



INTRODUCTORY 21 

teens, it must be admitted that age has some- 
thing to do with it. The traditions of all 
other lines of sport hold that no one ever be- 
came really great who had not begun his 
career at an early age, and golfing traditions 
hold more strenuously than do those of any 
other sport to this axiom. In fact, there has 
been for many years a story told at old St. 
Andrews which illustrates this point to a 
nicety. 

A beginner was anxiously inquiring of a 
dour plain-spoken old professional how long 
it took a man to become a great golfer. 
" Well," said the old fellow slowly, " if your 
father and your grandfather and his father 
before him were muckle good golfers, and 
you began as a little child, by the time you 
were grown up you should play pretty 
fair." 

That may have been true for England and 
Scotland, but in America our men and women 
have disproved it by the way in which they 
have in two or three or four years reached 



22 GOLF FOR WOMEN 

the championship class; and this class In 
America is, I am convinced, very little behind 
the front rank of players across the sea. 

Nor have we failed to produce feminine 
players whose game has been a refutation of 
the tradition that it is necessary to begin 
young. It is true that there Is no such encour- 
aging example to the portly matrons and 
elderly maids In the ranks of their own sex as 
the men have In our present Amateur national 
champion, Mr. Walter J. Travis, a man who 
was quite. If not considerably past, thirty years 
of age when he began to play golf. It Is said 
by many good judges that he has reached the 
limit of his play, and that he cannot Improve 
further, but this was said of him In 1899, 
when he disproved It most conclusively by his 
wonderful series of victories and the increased 
length of his long game In 1900. In his style 
there was little Improvement to be noticed, but: 
he did lengthen his swing a little, which shows 
that a man beginning even as late in life as he 
did can still acquire good form. 



INTRODUCTORY 23 

It is this fact more than any other which 
makes one feel convinced that it is more the 
fault of their clothes than their years which is 
the trouble with our more elderly women in 
their efforts to acquire the best style. 

Summing up this matter of age, I think 
that it is much better for a woman to begin to 
golf at sixteen years old, but she need not 
despair of becoming a really first-class player 
even though she has arrived at the age of 
thirty without knowing the difference between 
a brassey and a hazard, while she can rest as- 
sured that so long as she is young enough to 
walk around the links and raise her arms with 
a club in her grasp as high as her head, she 
can learn to become a golfer. 

PHYSICAL QUALIFICATIONS 

As I have said before, there is no royal road 
to success in golf; and good physique, al- 
though it may aid one who has the correct 
principles to get the most out of the game, will 
not in itself enable one to play well. 



24 GOLF FOR WOMEN 

Neither can it be said that the most suc- 
cessful golfers are either big or little. Mr. 
Herbert Harriman, the Amateur champion 
of 1900, is a big, broad-shouldered man, who 
stands six feet at least, and weighs probably 
200 pounds, while Mr. Walter J. Travis, the 
present title-holder, is by no means a tall man, 
and tips the scales at probably less than 150 
pounds. 

James Braid, the man who last year de- 
feated Vardon and Taylor for the English 
Open championship, is six feet four inches tall, 
but not as broad in proportion. He is prob- 
ably the longest average driver in the world, 
for he recently averaged in an eighteen-hole 
round drives of 243 yards. 

Of the extremes in women who have become 
famous, perhaps the most notable is Miss 
Beatrix Hoyt, who held the Woman's na- 
tional championship for three years in succes- 
sion. She is about five feet two inches tall, 
and is very slight, while Miss Cassatt of 
Philadelphia, and a well-known figure in 



INTRODUCTORY 25 

national tournaments, is within an inch or 
two of six feet, and is very well propor- 
tioned. 

Thus it may be seen that no one, large or 
small, or medium-sized, is barred from becom- 
ing a championship possibility by the limita- 
tions of her physique. 

The whole question resolves itself into ac- 
quiring the proper style, as I have heretofore 
emphasized. 

Several women who perhaps have made up 
in other sports for lack of skill by a super- 
abundance of muscle have said to me that they 
disagreed with me in the statement that one 
need not be especially strong in order to play 
class golf, and that by all the laws of com- 
mon-sense the stronger person would play 
the better through having the greater 
power. 

This is quite true provided each has the 
same amount of skill, but if my critics had 
seen, as I have, a man who, in his day, was 
considered one ol the greatest athletes Yale 



26 GOLF FOR WOMEN 

ever turned out, a football guard, crew and 
track man, outdriven by a twelve-year-old boy, 
they might feel inclined to think less highly of 
pure muscle. The reason was that the boy 
knew how to do it, while the ex-Yale giant re- 
lied on his strength alone. 

When I say a person's size has no effect on 
the game he may develop I do not include in 
the statement any enormously stout person, or 
people who are in any way out of the ordinary, 
but only those of nearly average proportions. 

THE QUESTION OF CLOTHES 

The most common dress for the links 
among women is a shirt-waist and short skirt. 
The material for each may be whatsoever the 
wearer chooses, the predominating idea being 
to select something comfortable and light 
enough not to tire one in the tramp over fehe 
course. Most women vary their golfing 
clothes with the season of the year, just as they 
do their street and afternoon gowns, but this 
is by no means necessary. 



INTRODUCTORY 27 

The most popular style of costume during 
the summer months is a cotton shirt-waist with 
a short skirt of white duck or pique, but per- 
sonally I do not like this color, because I have 
found it has a tendency to make me take my 
eye off the ball, particularly in putting, and for 
this reason I think a broadcloth, tailor-made 
skirt of any other color than white is the best 
to play in. 

The matter of shoes may also be left to the 
individual taste of the player. Some prefer 
high-laced boots of heavy calf-skin, because 
of the support which they give to the ankles. 
Others, equally good players, wear nothing 
but low shoes. In any case they should be of 
at least medium weight with broad, com- 
fortable soles and low military heels. 

No one can play good golf without a secure 
stance, and the shoes, consequently, should be 
non-slippable. 

Many players trust their footing to rubber 
soles. These are very good in dry weather, 
but useless in wet, and it is a bad plan, I think, 



28 GOLF FOR WOMEN 

to change frequently, just as a constant change 
of clubs tends to unsettle one's play. 

I think the best all-round shoe, therefore, is 
one with hobnails in the sole. This is the 
kind that I wear, although I use rubber heels 
instead of leather ones with hobnails, because 
the weight in making a stroke is rested rather 
on the sole of the foot than the heel, which 
makes it necessary to have the former particu- 
larly secure, while the rubber heels tire one 
much less in walking than do the ordinary 
kind. 

I also make a point of having my shoes 
heavy, and have them made with a double 
sole, because I think they are much less apt 
to hurt one's feet than are light ones in tramp- 
ing over the rough ground sometimes found 
on golf courses. 

The question of whether or not to wear a 
hat is another point in which the individual 
taste of the player can have full sway. Some 
players wear hats, and others do not. Still 
others do one day and do not another. 



INTRODUCTORY 29 

I am one of the latter division, and I do not 
think it has the slightest influence on one's 
game. If the eyes are not very strong 
and affected at all by the glare of the sum- 
mer sun, a hat with a good broad brim 
that will act as a shade will be found a 
relief. 

I do not personally like to play golf in 
gloves, unless my hands are a little sore, and 
I think that the best players, both here and in 
England, agree with me unanimously on this 
point. Certainly none of the professionals 
play in gloves, and, after all, for grand golf 
day after day and week after week the profes- 
sionals are a long way ahead of the amateur, 
even though the latter occasionally strikes a 
gait which is equal to the " pro.'s " best. 
Great delicacy of touch is needed to play a 
golf stroke to perfection, and it stands to rea- 
son that one can obtain this much more truly 
with the bare hand than if the sense of con- 
tact must be transmitted through a .heavy 
glove. 



30 GOLF FOR WOMEN 

Another point against the glove is that the 
club is much more apt to slip in one's hand, 
and this follows especially in cold weather, 
and no matter how much pitch is put on 
it. 

The question of corsets is one which a 
woman can decide for herself. In the days 
of tight lacing they were out of the question, 
but now that common-sense governs their use, 
they play no more important part in determin- 
ing good golf than does the weight or color of 
a player's skirt. 

TECHNICAL TERMS 

The game of golf is so utterly unlike any 
other, that no matter how well versed one may 
be in other sports, a knowledge of them will 
be of no use to the novice in golf, either as an 
aid to a correct understanding of the princi- 
ples of the game, or to the proper method of 
play. 

There are so many technical terms which 
are necessary to express one's meaning when 



INTRODUCTORY 31 

talking about golf that it has a vocabulary of 
its own, and it is impossible to write or talk 
about the game without using many of these 
terms. 

The names of the clubs, for example, con- 
vey no meaning at all from their sound, 
except, perhaps, the *' driver " and " put- 
ter." The first would naturally be sup- 
posed to be the club with which the drives 
are made, but everyone does not know 
that the drive is the first shot in the play- 
ing of each hole. The fact that there are 
two meanings to the word " tee " also has a 
confusing effect on the mind of the novice, and 
indeed many who would be indignant at being 
put in this category. Primarily it is the space 
of ground from which the player makes her 
first shot at each hole, but it also means the 
little pat or mound of sand upon which she 
places her ball for this shot. 

The most useful word in the golfer's 
vocabulary — or at least the one which will de- 
scribe the golfer's efforts at first, most fre- 



32 GOLF FOR WOMEN 

quently, I am afraid — is, " foozle," which 
can be applied to any stroke which does not 
result the way the player intended it to 
do. 

A " hazard " is any difficulty, natural or 
artificial, and a " cop-bunker" is a mound of 
earth over which the ball must be played to 
restch the hole. It should have a sand trench 
three or four feet wide in front of its face, and 
occasionally the trench, is also placed on the 
other side as well. Shallow, sandy pits are 
known as " pot-bunkers " or " traps," and in 
general any piece of waste sandy ground is a 
" bunker." 

All bunkers are hazards, but all hazards 
are not bunkers by any means, a fact .which 
many even fairly proficient golfers are either 
unaware of or ignore. 

To " slice " is to drive the ball in a curve to 
the right, and a " pull " is for it to come to the 
left. 

A " sclaff " is hitting the ground before 
or at the same time as one hits the ball, so 



INTRODUCTORY 33 

that the stroke loses something of its force, 
and the opposite extreme is appropriately 
called a " top." Another appropriately 
coined term is " addressing the ball," and it 
describes the attempt of the player to settle 
into a satisfactory position for making the 
shot. 

The " caddie " is the person who con- 
descends to carry one's clubs in the round, and 
the " cup " is merely another name for the 
hole. 

The " follow-through " is that part of the 
stroke which is made after the club has come 
in contact with the ball, and no essential of 
style is more important. " Approaching " is 
any stroke calculated to place the ball on the 
putting-green, be it made with driver, brassey, 
or anything else, except a shot made from the 
tee, which is always a drive. When the 
" green " is spoken of, it is the putting-green 
that is meant, and this is the space within a 
radius of twenty yards from the hole, ex- 
clusive of hazards. 



34 GOLF FOR WOMEN 

The " fair-green " is properly that part of 
the course which lies between the several tees 
and their corresponding putting-greens. 

An " iron " is any club with an iron head, 
and the " hnks " is another general term for 
the ground on which the game is played. 
There is no such word as " link " to designate 
a single hole. 

The " long-game " is any full shot, and the 
" short-game " conversely means any stroke 
played with less than a full swing. 

The " odd " is one stroke more than the 
opponent has played, and the " like " an equal 
number. " To press " Is to endeavor to hit 
the ball harder than usual, in order to gain 
greater distance. " Putting " is the art of get- 
ting the ball into the hole, once it has reached 
the green. 

With these startling additions to one's 
former vocabulary safely and surely in mind, 
the novice should now learn a few of women's 
most common faults in order that she may her- 
self avoid them, 



INTRODUCTORY 36 

FEMININE FAILINGS IN PARTICULAR 

This is a topic on which it is more than 
unusually hard to generalize, for just as 
golfer's have their pet club and certain strokes 
which they must play unusually well, so also 
have they certain idiosyncrasies which crop 
out to their undoing time after time, despite 
their utmost efforts to remedy the fault. 

This can be accomplished, of course, with 
time and patience after the trouble is located, 
but oftentimes it will take many weeks to dis- 
cover just what is the trouble, and in trying 
one new thing after another, hoping to cure 
some particular fault, another equally as dis- 
astrous may be developed. 

Naturally, this is discouraging, but in learn- 
ing the cause and effect of shots as thoroughly 
as one must in studying out the cause of bad 
play, one will acquire a fund of invaluable 
knowledge if one wishes to become a really 
great player. 

Perhaps the greatest fault among women 



-36 GOLF FOR WOMEN 

is impatience. They are so anxious to make 
their shot that many and many a time they 
step up to the ball and play it with no more 
than a casual glance at its lie, the distance to 
be covered, and the nature of the shot which 
will yield the best results. I have often seen 
women, even among the best players, play a 
full shot with a brassey or driver, simply be- 
cause they had it in their hand, when, if they 
had looked at the distance for a fraction of a 
second, they would have realized that a 
mashie or iron would have put them quite far 
enough. 

The same result often occurs through the 
impatience which will not allow a woman to 
call back her caddie when he has given her the 
wrong club, and she plays the shot in conse- 
quence, hoping that the Goddess of Fortune 
will aid her to bring off the stroke with the 
desired result, even though the means are far 
from what they should be. 

Many a woman has lost a match, and par- 
ticularly a medal-play competition, by playing 



INTRODUCTORY 37 

shot after shot with lightning rapidity. In a 
bunker I have frequently seen ten or twelve 
strokes used when, if a moment's study of the 
situation had been taken, one or two would 
have sufficed. 

From the tee the average woman, who 
plays an even moderately good game, usually 
does consistently well, but if she does fail it is 
from topping nine times out of ten. With 
men, failure usually comes from slicing or 
pulling, but I think that the average woman 
drives a straight ball nearly always. 

Topping is, of course, caused by taking the 
eye off the ball a fraction of a second before 
it is struck, and this is a fault which besets 
women throughout every stroke from tee to 
hole. 

Women, at any rate all golfing women, 
are pronounced optimists, and in their eager- 
ness to see the ball go into the hole, they are 
prone to lift their eyes for just that infinitesi- 
mal length of time that is too soon, and the 
result is failure. 



38 GOLF FOR WOMEN 

When one finds that the practice has be- 
come a settled habit, the only thing to do is to 
steel the mind rigidly against looking for the 
ball until at least a full second after it has been 
struck. 

Many women accustom themselves to play- 
ing around without caddies, and this prac- 
tice is responsible for much of the habit of 
looking up quickly to watch the flight of the 
ball. 

Another very common fault among women 
is overgolfing. The woman begins with a 
tremendous amount of enthusiasm, and she 
spends all her waking hours of daylight on the 
links for the first week or two. She probably 
improves very rapidly in the first few days; 
then, as she grows stiff and sore from the un- 
accustomed exercise, she becomes disgusted 
with the game, temporarily at least, and it is 
perhaps a month or six weeks before its fasci- 
nations induce her to begin the weary road to 
success once more. 

This is a practice much more common than 



INTRODUCTORY 39 

one would imagine, and whenever one hears 
of a woman who has tried golf, and is not 
enthusiastic over it, one may put her down as 
being in one of these intermediate stages. 

The last of the faults which I think are 
common enough to be spoken of under this 
general caption is that of becoming nervous in 
the face of difficulties. It is astonishing to 
note how a woman who ordinarily will get 
away a drive of 150 yards with no trouble at 
all, will hesitate at an obstacle which requires 
a carry of perhaps but fifty yards. " He who 
hesitates is lost," is an axiom which every- 
one knows, and it is particularly true of 
golf. 

The average woman falters in her mind as 
she sees the hazard loom up before her, and 
when she does that, in nine cases out of ten, 
she fails to carry it. 

Yet it is not lack of pluck which causes this 
distressing effect. The average woman is, I 
think, far more plucky in the face of prac- 
tically certain defeat than is the average man. 



40 



GOLF FOR WOMEN 



When did you ever see a man hammering 
away in dead earnestness when he was playing 
live more in a bunker and his opponent was 
ten yards off the green? Yet it is no un- 
common sight in a woman's match. 




CHAPTER II 

PRELIMINARY TRAINING 

THE first thing to do, if one wishes 
to play golf, is to read some good 
book on the game, in order to ac- 
quire a general understanding of what one is 
trying to do. 

But no matter how good the book, one 
cannot become a crack golfer by sitting in the 
house and reading it. Theory is all very 
well, but it is practice that makes perfect in 
golf, as well as in everything else. 

Practically every golf club in this country 
has in its employ a professional golfer, whose 
duties are to give instruction and repair clubs 
primarily, but who sometimes, at the smaller 
links, acts as green-keeper at well. 

Usually he has played golf from the time 
he left off his swaddling-clothes, and he plays 
41 



42 GOLF FOR WOMEN 

it far more by instinct than by rhyme or rea- 
son. He plays a successful shot, not because 
he wants to, but because he can't help it, as 
an apoplectic old gentleman once remarked 
indignantly, quite as though the " pro.'s " 
skill was a personal affront to him. 

There are only a half-dozen or so pro- 
fessionals in America who were not born and 
bred at this game, and as a rule they have no 
knowledge of any other, and some of them 
are men of little education. They therefore 
are unable to. explain the faults which arise 
from the natural efforts of the player to 
master what she fondly believes is a St. 
Andrews swing, and those which arise 
from former flirtations with tennis or basket- 
ball. 

Ordinarily, it will be found, and curiously 
so, that the best player is by no means the best 
teacher, and two of the best instructors I know 
cannot play eighteen holes within five strokes 
of the average amateur of their clubs, but 
they have acquired the knack of telling others 



TRAINING 43 

how to play, and of detecting the faults of 
their pupils. This last is really a much more 
valuable trait than the former, for, while 
a person may learn to do a thing from obser- 
vation and imitation, she can't as easily correct 
a glaring fault in her play by watching an 
expert at work. 

If you can get hold of an instructor who 
really has some idea of telling one how to 
play, it is best, I think, to begin at least under 
his instruction, but if you find that the " pro." 
has little or no idea of telling you how to 
achieve the desired result, or what you are 
doing wrong, it is better to leave him alone 
and work out your own salvation. 

When you have decided that golf Is an 
absolutely necessary adjunct to your peace of 
mind and happiness in this world, the first 
proceeding, after obtaining the proper clothes 
(is there any occupation whatever from birth 
to grave for which woman does not consider 
clothes the most necessary adjunct?), is to 
secure some of the Implements of war. 



44 GOLF FOR WOMEN 

For the proper playing of the game of 
golf there are six clubs necessary, viz., driver, 
brassey, cleek, mid-iron, mashie, and putter, 
and I have also known many golfers to whom 
a niblick was also useful at times. Besides 
these, many players carry a jigger and driv- 
ing-mashie. 

I shall content myself at present by giving 
the names of the necessary clubs, leaving them 
to be discussed at length under a separate 
chapter, and proceeding to generalize on the 
first day's proceedings. 

While six clubs are necessary to the expert 
player, it is a great mistake for a novice to 
purchase so many to begin with. She should 
buy a driver and a lot of old balls. Don't 
take new ones, or you will wound your feel- 
ings deeply when your first shot cuts a gash 
an inch long and a quarter of an inch deep in 
the pretty white little globe. 

Take the driver and the balls and proceed 
to a quiet spot, either with the " pro.," or, if 
you have decided to play out your own Ideas, 



TRAINING 45 

with no one but your conscience, and a caddie 
to chase the balls. 

All the play that one indulges in for the 
first few days should be driving away the 
balls with the driver, and if one can command 
the self-control, it is wise to practice some 
time in merely swinging the club over a leaf 
or bit of paper on the ground instead of the 
ball. However, this is a precept which it is 
quite too much to expect the ordinary mortal 
to be able to follow. 

The tortures of Tantalus are as nothing 
compared to those of the mortal who has once 
tasted the joys of a full cleanly hit shot, and 
if our tyro can be kept from setting out for a 
round of the links with the determina- 
tion shining from her eye of lowering the 
medal record on her first appearance, 
she is doing quite all that one could ex- 
pect. 

This last practice is responsible for the 
wrecking of more promising golfing careers 
than anything else that one can do or leave 



46 GOLF FOR WOMEN 

undone, and I cannot emphasize too strongly 
its harmfulness. 

Not only should the novice refrain from 
playing the course for several weeks, but, 
above all, she should never think of counting 
the number of her strokes for six months after 
she begins to play. 

The temptation to do so is of course very 
great, but if she refrains from it the ultimate 
reward is quite compensation enough. 

It is very hard to make a beginner under- 
stand why she should not keep track of her 
strokes, and thus note her improvement from 
day to day. The reason is that in an effort to 
save a stroke here or there, in order that one 
may cut one's record for nine holes from 125 
to 124, the excited record-breaker will be led 
into committing numberless sins of commission 
and omission which she never would have 
dreamed of even, but for the fatal lodestar of 
a broken record luring her on. 

One of these tricks may temporarily bring 
about the desired effect, but it is sure to be 



-r 



/ 




TRAINING 47 

only temporarily, and by the time she has a 
repertoire of several such, Miss Novice will 
find that she has forfeited all chance of ever 
making a respectable score except by an effort 
of the imagination which would make Baron 
Munchausen turn in his grave with envy. 

After becoming comparatively accom- 
plished with the driver, the novice may take 
up the cleek. The stroke for this club is made 
so much like a driver-shot that after one has 
mastered the rudiments of that club, the other 
will be very easy. After acquiring a bowing 
acquaintance with these two clubs, the mashie 
may be taken up. Go thirty or forty yards 
from a putting-green with a lot of old balls, 
and drop them at intervals on the ground, 
and proceed to play them up as near as pos- 
sible to the hole. After they are on the 
green, you can add variety to the practice by 
getting out your putter and putting them into 
the hole. 

Putting is a matter entirely of individual 
fancy. All the other strokes of golf are made 



46 GOLFFOR WOMEN 

on more or less general principles, but every- 
one is a law unto herself when once the put- 
ting-green has been reached. 

With this knowledge of what to do in mind 
when the clubs are selected, let us proceed to 
consider the implements themselves. 

CLUBS 

In looking back to the days when I first 
began to golf, I remember that it was a 
matter of absolutely no importance to me 
whether my club was made of hickory or per- 
simmon or cast-iron, and that I was far too 
impatient to get out on the links to stop to 
.consider whether the advantages of a dog- 
wood head outweighed those of one made of 
persimmon or vice versa. I assume that 
the majority of other girls feel as I did about 
it. 

With this in mind I shall therefore elimi- 
nate, at this stage of writing at least, all 
discussion of a technical nature, and simply 
try to give a little useful advice in the matter 



TRAINING 49 

of selecting one's golfing tools from the or- 
dinary dealer's or professional's stock. 

The first, and by all odds the most import- 
ant, point to be considered in selecting a driver 
(and the other clubs as well) is the balance. 
This is a matter which everyone must decide 
for herself, for one's strength of wrist plays 
a very large part in determining the propor- 
tionate weights in head and shaft which com- 
bine to make a club of ideal balance. It is a 
very difficult thing to obtain a club which 
*' feels " exactly right, and sometimes a 
golfer will handle and " waggle " a hundred 
before finding one which seems as if it would 
do. Even then a trial on the links frequently 
shows that what seemed ideal in the profes- 
sional's shop is far from it in actual play, and 
the whole work of selection must be gone 
through with once more. 

It undoubtedly may seem absurd to the non- 
golfer, this care and attention to the fraction 
of an ounce in weight or of an inch in the 
length or slant of a club, but no golfer con- 



50 GOLF FOR WOMEN 

siders it anything but a solemn duty and a 
pleasure as well. 

In fact, the club-makers' shops are always 
full of players who stop in to handle and try 
clubs, even when they have no intention of 
purchasing them, but merely for the pleasure 
of feeling a good club in their grasp. 

For a player of average height — that is, 
about five feet five inches for a woman, or 
five feet nine inches in a man — a driver should 
be from 37 to 41 inches in the first instance, 
and from 40 to 44 inches in the second, 
measuring of course from the extreme end of 
the shaft to the sole of the club. 
, The " lie " (meaning the relation which the 
sole of the club bears to the angle of the 
shaft) which will give the player the greatest 
power, combined, of course, with a fair degree 
of accuracy, must be learned by each . indi- 
vidual in actual practice. To begin with, it 
is best to select a club which, when the entire 
sole rests easily on the floor of the shop, brings 
the shaft in the natural grip to a point where 



TRAINING 51 

it seems natural, and as though a full, power- 
ful blow could be struck. 

It is best not to go to extremes in selecting 
clubs. It may appear to one person a conclu- 
sion so logical that it admits of no denial that 
a limber or " whippy " shaft and a heavy 
head make a combination which will produce 
the best results, or it may appear with equal 
force to another that a light head and a stiff 
shaft are the ideal combination. Indeed, a 
dozen other variations may seem the one and 
only solution to the art of golf, but one of the 
uses of the game is to prove that there is no 
such thing as a logical deduction, and so it is 
best to start with clubs which are neither at 
the one extreme nor the other. 

As a general thing, no beginner appreciates 
for a long time the strength required to swing 
a golf-club rapidly and swiftly, and she there- 
fore selects clubs which seem perhaps very 
light when not in actual use, but are heavy 
when it comes to playing strokes. 

Another point which at least ninety per 



52 GOLF FOR WOMEN 

cent, of beginners fail to recognize is that it 
is the speed at which a club is traveling when 
it comes in contact with the ball, far more 
than its weight, which produces long drives. 
It is obvious that a lighter club can be swung 
faster than a heavy one, and as soon as the 
golfer has this point firmly imprinted on her 
memory, the sooner will she begin to drive 
nearer the 200-yard mark. 

Still, the matter of light clubs should not 
be carried to extremes, any more than any- 
thing else. If there is no weight behind the 
swing the additional speed will be wasted just 
as certainly as weight is useless without speed. 

The weight of the club once decided upon, 
the limberness of the shaft is the next con- 
sideration. 

As a general rule, a whippy shaft will drive 
a trifle longer ball than a stiff one, but as the 
whippiness increases, so also does the tend- 
ency to slice and pull, and it is therefore 
best for the novice to begin with a club with 
a fairly stiff shaft. 



TRAINING 63 

The brassey is substantially the same as the 
driver, except that it is a trifle heavier, the 
face is a little more laid back, and it has its 
sole covered with a brass plate, perhaps a 
sixteenth of an inch thick. The shaft should 
also be a trifle stiffer than that of the driver, 
and about one inch shorter. Otherwise the 
clubs are the same, and the same reasons 
govern their selection. 

Until reasonably expert the driver should 
be used only from the tee, and the brassey's 
usefulness begins as soon as it is necessary 
to obtain a long distance after the tee 
shot. 

Even though the ball be lying badly, and 
it seems almost impossible to get it out, do not 
hesitate to use this club, for the brass on the 
sole will cut through the turf readily, and the 
loft of the face will throw the ball up suflH- 
ciently to get away a clean shot. 

In selecting one's wooden clubs, it is well 
to remember that practical experiments have 
proven the fallacy of the idea that a driver 



64 GOLF FOR WOMEN 

or brassey which has a thick face possesses 
an advantage over a thin-faced one. 

Indeed the latter is preferable from the fact 
that, with it, it is much easier to pick a ball 
out of a bad lie. 

A moment's reflection shows the truth of 
this, for it is apparent that the nearer to the 
ground the center of the face is, so much the 
less does the ball need to be elevated for it 
to come in contact with the very center of the 
club. 

The cleek is the next most powerful club 
on the list, and should be used to play dis- 
tances between a full brassey and a mid-iron 
shot, or, say, when distances between lOO and 
125 yards are to be covered. 

It should also be used when the distance to 
be covered is greater, but the lie so bad that 
using a brassey seems but to invite disaster. 

The shaft should be about as stiff as that 
of the driver, and the head laid back only 
a small fraction of an inch. Like the brassey 
and driver, and for the same reasons, the 



TRAINING 65 

blade or face should be narrow rather than 
thick. The face should not be more than 
33^ inches long, for if it is, it will detract 
from the club's ability to pick a ball out of a 
hole, without adding anything to its driving 
power. 

The patent cleeks, in which the shaft runs 
through the socket to the sole, and in which 
the socket is but about an inch long, are rather 
more powerful driving clubs than those of 
ordinary pattern. 

The mid-iron, to take the club with the next 
longest driving capacity, is, as its name im- 
plies, a club for moderate distances of from 
perhaps 80 to 100 yards. 

The face should be lofted to an angle of 
about 45 degrees, rather broader in the face 
than the cleek. The extra loft throws the 
ball more into the air than do the aforemen- 
tioned clubs, and therefore it has less run. 

The mashie or approaching club has a face 
that is not only the deepest by one-half an inch 
of all the clubs, but it is laid back to an angle 



56 GOLF FOR WOMEN 

of 60 degrees. It should have a head heavier 
proportionately than any of the other clubs, 
and, like the rest, should have a stiff shaft. 

All these clubs, as the illustrations show, 
are shorter in a descending scale, each one 
perhaps an inch less than the one mentioned 
before it. 

What is sometimes called the most impor- 
tant club in the game is the putter, and here 
there are at least a dozen styles to choose 
from. Personally, I have found the best 
results from a heavy-headed gooseneck which 
has a very httle slant to the face. The shaft 
should be comparatively short and absolutely 
^tiff. 

The niblick is the club of last resort, and 
when its use is necessary, the player is gener- 
ally so desperate that " all niblicks look alike 
to her," to paraphrase a popular song of the 
day. 

With the outfit of clubs selected, the next 
thing to do is to learn how to grip them cor- 
rectly. 



TRAINING 67 



THE DRIVING GRIP 



Take the driver and hold it so that the 
sole lies flat on the ground at every point, and 
the end of the handle rests against the skirt 
half-way between the waist and knee. 

Then place the hands on either side of the 
handle, as shown in the illustration of the 
driving grip. Fig. I. Care should be taken 
to see that the shaft runs across the base of 
the knuckles, and not the palm of the hand, 
but under no circumstances, on the other hand, 
allow the club to fall nearer the fingers than 
the knuckles. 

Fig. II. shows the method in which the 
hands should close, and Fig. III. the com- 
pleted grip. 

This grip, I think, is by all odds the best. 
Fig. IV. shows another which is used to some 
extent, but it is impossible to get so good a 
follow-through with it, and it also tends to 
tighten the muscles of the arms in swinging 
back for the stroke. This tightening extends 



68 GOLF FOR WOMEN 

to the wrists, and prevents obtaining that 
subtle snap so essential to long driving. 

Fig. V. shows the club correctly grasped 
with the fingers, but with the thumbs held 
down the shaft. This is a style which in- 
variably takes from ten to fifteen yards from 
the length of the shot, although adding In 
some Instances to Its accuracy. So, on the 
whole. It is not to be recommended. 

The relation of the hands to each other 
is a very Important point, and the closer they 
are held, the longer the shot, for every inch 
they are apart lessens the drive by twenty 
yards at least. 

Under any and all conditions the position 
of the left hand should remain the same, as 
illustrated In Figs. I., IL, III., and IV. 

The shaft should be grasped with the left 
hand as firmly as possible, and also with the 
last three fingers of the right hand. The fore- 
finger and thumb should barely touch the club, 
and If at all only at the last second of the 
downward swing before the ball is struck. 




THE WRIST ACTION IN DRIVING. 

The Up Swing 



CHAPTER III 

THE STANCE 

AFTER settling the question of the 
/-% proper method of gripping the club 
to one's entire satisfaction, the next 
step in order is the determining of the rela- 
tion the position of the feet shall bear to the 
ball, and the direction it is wished that the 
ball shall take. 

This is technically called the stance, and 
there are almost as many ways of standing as 
there are of gripping the club. 

The stance may be divided into three 
classes, which are called : 

I. — Off the right foot. 

II.— Off the left foot. 

III. — Standing square. 

The most common method is the first, and 



60 GOLF FOR WOMEN 

probably so because the player can see the 
direction in which she wishes the ball to go 
better, and consequently feels more confidence 
that it will go there. 

In adopting this stance, the right foot is 
placed in advance of the left, the exact differ- 
ence depending upon the player's fancy. In 
other words, if a line were drawn on the 
ground parallel to the line of flight, the left 
toe should be just touching it, while the right 
would be anywhere from one to ten inches 
over it. The extent to which the right foot 
is advanced determines the proportion of the 
weight of the body it should hold ; the farther 
"it is advanced, the greater amount of weight 
is rested upon it. 

In driving "off the left foot," the right 
foot is withdrawn in almost the same propor- 
tion as it is advanced when driving " off the 
right foot," and the stance is virtually the 
inverse of the former. 

In standing square, the stance is as its name 
implies. Both feet are on a parallel line, and 







Mj^ 



r 







THE WRIST AC.TION IN DRIVING. 

The Finish. 



THE STANCE 61 

the weight of the body is equally divided be- 
tween them. 

The distance which the feet should be apart 
is another matter which must be decided by 
the individual, and should be regulated by 
both feeling and physique. 

Roughly speaking, the feet should be from 
1 8 to 24 inches apart. 

The knees should be bent in the smallest 
degree, just so that the knee-joint is not stiff, 
and the arms, when the club head rests behind 
the ball, are bent in an equally small degree 
at the elbow. 

The position of the ball and its relation to 
the feet are most important. 

When the *' standing square " stance is 
adopted, the ball should be nearly oppo- 
site the left heel — that is, within two or 
three inches of the line which a right 
angle drawn by the feet and ball would 
make. 

When playing " off the right foot " the 
ball should be more to the right, and as the 



62 GOLF FOR WOMEN 

foot is advanced, so proportionately should 
the ball be moved to the right. 

When playing " off the left foot " the ball 
should be inversely moved to the left. 

I favor using a stance in which the feet are 
practically on a line, as the illustration of the 
side view of the address for a drive will show. 
I do not, as I said before, try to place my feet 
in identically the same position for each shot, 
and therefore the position of the right one 
may occasionally vary an inch or even two 
inches, both in its distance to the right of 
the left foot and its distance ahead of the 
left. 

' Again, I try to have my feet approximately 
twenty inches apart, but I let the matter settle 
Itself instinctively, and only try to get a stance 
which seems natural. The majority of the 
men who have written books on golf, and also 
the professionals, agree that it is only the 
position of the left foot which is really im- 
portant, and that the right may vary in its 
place several inches without affecting the re- 



THE STANCE 63 

suit of the shot; my experience has been that 
this is true. 

Another point, perhaps a minor considera- 
tion, but one which many a beginner on the 
rocky pathway to golfing fame stumbles over, 
is the position of the toes. Some think that 
they must be turned out as nicely as a dancing 
professor insists upon in the first position; 
others think that the feet should be straight, 
and some imagine, or at least a casual ob- 
server would so suppose, that a good drive 
can only be secured by turning the toes in. 

No one need worry over this point, how- 
ever, for as good drives may be made in one 
way as in another. Ordinarily I place the ball 
and I tee about three inches to the right of 
my left heel, and I rest the weight of my body 
equally on each foot. I have found that by 
adopting this stance I can obtain a full, easy 
backward swing, and that I can swing my club 
in a sweeping circle much farther and 
straighter in the line of flight of the ball — 
or, in technical words, can obtain a much 



'64 GOLF FOR WOMEN 

better *' follow-through " in this way than in 
any other. 

The question of the " follow-through " 
may seem of very little importance to the tyro, 
but later on I shall endeavor to dissipate this 
idea. At the present time I shall content 
myself with saying that it is an admitted fact 
that it is quite as important as is the part of 
the swing before the ball is struck. 

The main objection to an accentuation of 
the left-foot style is that it makes a proper 
follow-through very difficult to achieve. 
Owing to the right foot being so far back, it 
is impossible to be facing front at the end of 
the swing, and the body pivots on the left 
foot, thereby encouraging the club to swing 
round the body. On the other hand, how- 
ever, if the right foot is advanced too far, 
the prospect of hooking the ball is almost 
certain. For these reasons, therefore, I 
recommend that the right foot be only about 
an inch ahead of the left, if at all; but every 
player of any experience will soon pick out 



THE STANCE 65 

the position which for some reason, real or 
fancied, seems to be a trifle the best, and use 
it for the regular stance. When the time 
comes, as come it will inevitably to even the 
very best golfer in the world, that no shot 
can be made as it should from that stance, 
then simply try a little change in it, and you 
willvery soon find that you are once more 
playing up to your game. When that day 
comes that the new stance becomes another of 
the failures and disappointments, try another, 
and so you will gradually work around to the 
old favorite once more. In other words, golf 
is a continual experiment, and those who know 
when to continue experimenting, and when to 
be satisfied with the results already achieved, 
make the best players. 

Never made the mistake of taking up a 
certain stance simply because some celebrated 
golfer uses it. Be a law unto yourself, for, 
unless you stand so that you feel natural and 
easy and as though you were going to hit the 
ball exactly as you wish, you never will be able 



66 GOLF FOR WOMEN 

to do so. Confidence in golf is at least half 
the battle. If you find that some champion 
uses the same stance that you do, well and 
good. Say to yourself, he uses good judg- 
ment and is a legitimate champion, and feel 
well satisfied that the champion follows you, 
but never follow him. When I say that, after 
finding the stance which seems best, one 
should continue using it, I do not mean that 
one should worry over getting in exactly the 
same position each time. I take up a stance 
which is substantially the same, but I do it 
instinctively, and never think of looking to 
see just how many inches one foot is away 
from the other, or how many inches one is 
in front of the other. 

There is no surer way of producing foozles 
or of acquiring a stiff and awkward, to say 
nothing of an improper, swing than to con- 
tinually worry over getting in identically the 
same position for every stroke. 

The ball should be teed at whatever place 
the club head lies when it is gripped in the 



THE STANCE 67 

proper way, and then allowed to fall naturally 
to the ground straight in front of the player. 
The whole idea is to get it at such a distance 
that it will be directly in the line of a natural 
swing. There is a great diversity of opinion 
about the distance one should stand away. 
Some of the best drives in the country stand 
so far that the toe of their club, when address- 
ing the ball, is quite two or three inches be- 
hind the ball, while others have the ball even 
with the neck of the club head. I do not favor 
either of these extremes. 

If the ball is too far away and the player 
has to reach for it, as it were, the whole posi- 
tion is quite apt to be cramped, and the swing 
is consequently without snap, or else, in en- 
deavoring to have it free and easy, the player 
does not always " reach " the exact fraction 
of an inch which is necessary for the perfect 
performance of the shot, and a bad slice or 
pull results. 

With the question of grip and stance 
properly settled, in mind if not in actual prac- 



68 GOLF FOR WOMEN 

tice, the next thing to consider is the swing 
of the club, from which the force which drives 
the ball is obtained. 

As I have said before, the swing for all the 
strokes of the long game, or, in other words, 
those which are made with the full power of 
the club in hand, depends upon fixed and in- 
variable principles, however far good golfers 
may differ from one another in matter of 
detail in execution. The swing proper may 
be divided into three component parts : 

I. — The wrist action. 

II. — The arm movement. 

III. — The body movement. 

Each plays its own particular part in the 
achievement of the desired result, and no one 
can hope to become a good long-game player 
who has not mastered the intricacies of all 
three. 

While it is true that a mastery of all three 
of the component parts of the swing is neces- 
sary to achieve long play, one of these parts 
is a little more essential than the other two, 



THE STANCE 69 

and vastly harder to master. This is the 
wrist action, and a perfect accomplishment of 
it is, I think, about the hardest bit of all the 
hard things in golf. But it is well worth 
working for, because when it is finally mas- 
tered, it will be found to have lengthened the 
wooden-club shots at least fifteen yards, and 
the full iron shots proportionately. 

In the discouraging moments when it seems 
absolutely impossible to impart that almost 
undefinable snap to the wrists as the club head 
meets the ball, it may seem that a gain of 
fifteen yards is not worth anything like the 
trouble it is causing, but when you come to 
play in a tournament or a match, on the win- 
ing of which your heart is set, that extra 
fifteen yards will seem worth anything in the 
world. 

The illustrations which show the positions 
of the hands and wrists at the different stages 
of the upward swing give a far better idea of 
how the wrists should bend than words can do. 
As they show, the wrists should be supple 



70 GOLF FOR WOMEN 

from the very beginning of the stroke, and 
should be allowed to turn in a perfectly 
natural way. There are two benefits to be 
derived from this turning. The first lies in 
the fact that through it the club can be swung 
at a greatly accelerated speed, and, as I have 
pointed out in a former chapter, it is the speed 
of the swing which produces the distance of 
the shots; the second, that it is only through 
the turning of the wrists, as the club swings 
backward, that they can be brought into posi- 
tion for the impartation of a snap to the club 
as it meets the ball. 

By glancing at the illustrations of the down 
swing it will be seen that at a couple of feet 
from the ball the wrists are bent. Just at 
this point they should be suddenly straight- 
ened and made rigid, and as this is done with 
the club moving at tremendous speed it has 
the effect of imparting a snap to the shot. 
Do not, however, fall into the error of sup- 
posing that because you have accomplished 
this much there is nothing more to worry 



THE STANCE 71 

about, for nothing is further from the actual 
truth. The follow-through of a stroke, while 
not quite so important as the backward swing, 
plays a very essential part in the shot, much 
more so than anyone but a golfer of experi- 
ence could believe. 

After the ball is struck — and care should 
be taken to see that the desire to impart the 
" snap " to the shot does not impair the har- 
mony of the swing (a point to be treated in 
the next chapter) — the hands and arms 
should swing well forward, and as the club 
moves onto the upward half of its circle the 
wrists will begin to perform another turn, 
exactly the reverse of that made in the back- 
ward stroke. That Is, they will do so if they 
have been relaxed as soon as the ball has been 
struck. The illustrations show how the wrists 
should turn. 

Many players are afraid to hold the wrists 
relaxed for fear that, if they do, the club's face 
will be diverted from the angle at which the 
ball was addressed, and that it will conse- 



72 



GOLF FOR WOMEN 



quently connect with the ball in such a way 
as to cause a slice or pull. This is a ground- 
less fear. If the club is gripped properly, 
the stance correct, and the wrists allowed to 
turn naturally, they will take care of them- 
selves in the downward swing. One should 
not, however, try to force this turn or disaster 
will result. It won't be natural. 




CHAPTER IV 

THE SWING 

IN the foregoing chapter I laid no stress 
upon the fact that the left wrist, in con- 
sequence of gripping the club more 
tightly with that hand than with the right, 
did a rather greater share of the work than 
the right, but this is nevertheless the case. 
The ideal, of course, is to have the two hands 
work so harmoniously together that it is im- 
possible to see where one contributes more 
strength than the other. 

With the theoretical knowledge of the part 
which the wrists should play in the full stroke 
firmly implanted in one's mind, the next steg 
is naturally to apply the knowledge to a prac- 
tical use, and like so many other things, it will 
be found that what works well in theory does 
not act quite so well in practice. 

Of course the stronger the wrist muscles 
73 



74 GOLF FOR WOMEN 

are, the more power they will be able to exert, 
and with a realization of the important part 
which they play throughout the entire game 
from tee to hole in mind, it is the part of 
wisdom to spend a few moments each day in 
simple exercises which are calculated to de- 
velop them and the muscles, also, of the fore- 
arm. Any gymnasium or Delsarte teacher 
can suggest some good ones which can be 
practiced at home with dumbbells, or even 
without anything in the hands at all. Of 
course if one is in the habit of attending a 
gymnasium regularly, the wrist-machine will, 
as its name implies, give a great variety of 
wrist and forearm exercises. 

One very beneficial exercise is to hold the 
arms out straight from the shoulders, and 
open and shut the fingers rapidly. In this the 
arm muscles should be held tense. Another 
good exercise is to hold the arms either ex- 
tended or bent at the elbow, and relaxing com- 
pletely the muscular tension at the wrists, 
shake the hands rapidly. 



THESWING 76 

The second part of a correct full stroke de- 
pends upon the way the arms are swung. 
They must be free, and carry the club in as 
great an arc as possible, but in the endeavor 
to do this, accuracy and harmony must not be 
sacrificed. In fact, the harmony or perfect 
timing of the swing, and the exertion of 
strength at exactly the proper moment have 
much more to do with the success of the shot 
than has the amount of strength which is put 
into it. 

As I said when writing about the stance, 
the distance the ball should be from the feet, 
when addressing it, is a matter for each in- 
dividual to settle for herself, but it should be 
great enough to allow of the arms hanging 
clear and free from the body. In the first 
part of the backward stroke, as a glance at the 
accompanying illustration of the up-swing will 
show, the arms are already extending as far 
backward as they can without overbalancing 
the body or causing it to sway in the same 
direction. I shall later take up the part which 



76 GOLF FOR WOMEN 

the body plays, but for the moment I will 
touch only upon the arm movements. 

After assuming the proper stance, it is a 
good idea to " waggle " the club two or three 
times over the ball, but it should never be 
" lifted " more than an inch over it. This is 
also a very good exercise for the wrists, and 
can be practiced as such to good advantage. 
After waving the club backward and forward 
two or three times to get the proper feel to 
it, rest for the space of a second behind the 
ball, and then begin the backward swing. To 
digress from this for a moment, let me sol- 
emnly urge everyone not to fall into the ex- 
ceedingly bad habit of taking up several 
minutes in addressing the ball. 

And there are any number of reasons why 
my advice on this point should be taken, even 
if it is scorned upon every other. In the first 
place, it is bad for the stroke one is to play, 
for it is tiring to eye, nerve, and muscle to 
make three or four feints, and consequently, 
when the actual stroke is played it is apt to be 



THESWING 77 

just a shade less effectual than if all this extra 
exertion had not been made. That this is the 
general opinion also among ninety-nine out of 
every hundred amateurs of the first class is, I 
think, a fact, and I also am unable to recall 
to mind a single professional of recognized 
ability who indulges in long-drawn-out prepa- 
rations for his shot. 

This is the argument against it from the 
purely practical standpoint of the question, 
but from the standpoint of courtesy and eti- 
quette it is even more strong. 

A player who wastes two or three minutes 
in addressing the ball for each shot will not 
only keep her partner standing in idle and of 
course helpless wrath, but she will probably 
keep back, and in a like degree of impotent 
rage, all the others who have been so unfor- 
tunate as to tee off behind her. According to 
the wording of the rules of golf, the player 
has as long as she likes to make her round, 
but if she wishes to be unpopular on the links 
she can take no quicker or more sure method 



78 GOLF FOR WOMEN 

of achieving it than to indulge in this prac- 
tice. 

I may perhaps appear to feel too strongly 
over this point, but anyone who has been 
subjected to the annoyance of waiting and 
waiting after each shot, while someone a 
couple of hundred yards ahead goes through 
a half-dozen meaningless swings, will, I 
think, most heartily indorse all that I have 
said. 

After this bit of advice let us return to the 
question of what part the arms are to play in 
the achievement of a perfect swing. At the 
beginning of the club's swing, for the first 
three or four inches of its journey, the wrists 
perform the work of raising it, as a glance 
at the first illustration in the up-swing series 
will show. At that point, as the next cut illus- 
trates, the arms begin to assert themselves, 
and they should be allowed to move out 
freely. Under no circumstances, however, 
allow the club head to swing up. On the con- 
trary, when the club begins the backward 



THESWING 79 

swing, keep it as close as possible to the 
ground. There are many important reasons 
for this. In the first place, this will carry the 
arms out naturally quite a little further than 
they would go if the club head went up more 
perpendicularly, and thus a larger arc of a 
circle is formed. 

The advantages of this are at once obvious. 
The more distance that the club head travels 
on a line parallel with the ball, the less chance 
there is of it striking the ball above or below 
it (technically sclaffing or topping), and, of 
course, this is one point of danger eliminated. 

Another advantage is that the further the 
club head travels on a line parallel to the ball, 
before striking it, the greater power it will 
impart to it. This, of course, is due to the 
fact that the momentum will be applied more 
directly behind the ball, and therefore utilized 
to its fullest extent. If, on the other hand, 
the club is coming down more perpendicu- 
larly, part of its momentum will be expended 
in covering that distance, and even when it 



80 GOLF FOR WOMEN 

hits the ball, it will do so with a sort of cut 
which will take many and many a yard from 
the length of the shot. 

As the club head draws back, the arms 
follow, but the elbows should not be allowed 
to get too far away from the side of the body. 
Just how far (to the number of inches) they 
may be allowed to go, no one could specify, 
but a glance at the illustrations in the series 
showing the up-swing will give an idea. So 
much for the arms. 

The third of the three component parts of 
the swing, the body movement, embraces not 
only the turning of the trunk of the body 
from the hips as the club swings up or down 
(when the body must sway, too), but also 
the degree in which the knee should bend and 
the heel turn. 

After assuming the proper stance for ad- 
dressing the ball, in which, as I stated in the 
chapter devoted to the stance, the knee should 
be bent just sufficiently to make the whole 
position easy, and to allow the body to turn 



THESWING 81 

to the right as the club swings backward in 
the upper part of the stroke, and to the left 
as it completes the arc, swing the club back- 
ward, keeping in mind the idea that it must 
be kept as close as possible to the ground. 
As it swings, there will develop a strong 
inclination to turn the entire body from the 
knees up in the same direction. This should 
never be done, however. With the hips as 
a pivot, the trunk of the body may be allowed 
to turn, but never more than is shown in the 
illustration. In fact a little less would be 
much preferable to the slightest degree more. 
Perhaps the best guide as to the distance 
the arms should be raised is that the club, 
when at the very top of the swing, should 
be a very little past the horizontal line back 
of and across the right shoulder. As the body 
turns, and the club swings up, the left heel, 
if allowed to do so, will naturally raise itself 
a few inches from the ground, and the foot 
turn on the toe. This is all very well if not 
carried to excess, but care must be taken to 



82 GOLF FOR WOMEN 

see that only the natural turn is allowed, and 
that there is no forcing of it. 

When the club has reached the extreme 
height to which the backward swing is to 
extend, without pausing for a single second, 
bring the arms and body around again in 
the same arc of the circle, and " sweep " the 
ball away. It is not a blow. It is distinctly 
a sweep, and this is a most important fact to 
bear in mind. 

Many persons are imbued with the idea 
that after the ball is struck, it matters not 
what becomes of the club, or in what manner 
the arms and body finish out the stroke. 

No greater mistake could be made. The 
follow-through of the stroke is considered 
nearly if not quite as important as that part 
of the stroke made before the club comes in 
contact with the ball, and a moment's reflec- 
tion upon the laws of physics will demon- 
strate conclusively that this must be true. 

If a ball and a club head are placed in 
contact with no force, it will be quickly seen 



THESWING 83 

that the point of contact is exceedingly small 
— no larger in fact than the point of a lead- 
pencil. On the other hand, a glance at the 
club head after a full stroke has been made 
often shows a mark of the ball which is at 
least as large as a quarter of a dollar. 

The composition of which the ball is made 
has, of course, a certain amount of resiliency, 
and the wood of the club head also gives a 
fraction of an inch under the force of a full 
stroke. Consequently, when these two forces 
meet each other, it is proof that they are in 
actual contact for a certain period of time 
after the club head strikes the ball, and while 
this period is, of course, an infinitesimal part 
of a second, the club is traveling so fast that 
its relative position to the ball during that 
space is of the utmost importance. 

Naturally, to achieve the perfect perform- 
ance of the shot, the head should be at an 
absolute right angle to the desired line of 
flight, and the further the club can be made 
to follow in this line, the better. 



84 GOLF FOR WOMEN 

Consequently, after the ball is struck, the 
hands and arms should be allowed to swing 
as far forward as they naturally wish to go, 
as the illustrations in the series showing the 
follow-through, illustrate very clearly. And 
they also show that after the club has swung 
a couple of feet or a yard past the spot where 
the ball was, the wrists will begin to turn 
once more in the inverse way to that in which 
they turned as the club swung backward, and 
the finish of the stroke, if correctly carried 
out, will be the exact reverse of the top of 
the backward swing. 

There are two great points, however, either 
of which, if neglected, will bring to naught 
the best efforts of the player, no matter how 
diligently she practices or how perfectly she 
acquires the swing. 

They sound delightfully simple, but like 
many other things which seem simple, are 
tremendously intricate. They are : 

First — Don't move your head. 

Second — Keep your eye on the ball. 



THE SWING 



85 



So Important are these two injunctions that 
words fail to express their significance. Neg- 
lect of either, however, will teach it, and 
teach it in a way to demonstrate that the old 
saying that experience is a bitter teacher was 
a most true one. 

The reason " why " these two things are 
of such importance I shall endeavor to satis- 
factorily explain in the next chapter. 

In the meantime, burn Into your mind with 
flaming letters: 

" Keep your eye on the ball." 

" Don't move your head." 




CHAPTER V 

THE SWING (continued) 

IT may seem that there are so many in- 
junctions in golf to be kept in mind that 
there cannot be any one point which it 
is especially imperative to observe, but such 
is, nevertheless, the fact, and it is the first 
of the two injunctions I exhorted all golfers 
to burn into their minds with flaming letters 
at the conclusion of the preceding chapter : 
" Keep your eye on the ball." 
Six little words, but what a tremendous 
amount they mean ! 

Oh, the sorrows which would have been 
averted had the injunctions which they record 
been strictly adhered to! The tears which 
need not have been shed; the matches which 
would not have been lost; the six-inch putts 
which would not have been missed ; the drives 
86 



THESWING 87 

which would not have been topped or pulled 
or sliced or sclaffed ! 

The things which otherwise would not have 
been are legion; far too numerous to count. 
But perhaps it is better that we are but 
human, and that the eye will wander. Were 
it not so, golf would be so perfect a pleasure 
and so great a delight that it might lose part 
of its charm, for in it, as in everything else, 
it is the unobtainable which is most desired. 

It might seem to a hasty observer that if 
one kept either the head immovable or the 
eye on the ball, that the other essential would 
follow as a matter of course, but such is by 
no means the case. It is more apt to occur, 
of course, but by no means is it a certainty. 

Of the two, I consider keeping the eye on 
the ball by far the most important, for if it 
is done absolutely, the chances are very likely 
that the head will be kept still. 

There is no greater temptation in all the 
world of golf than to take the eye off the 
ball a fraction of a second before the club 



88 GOLF FOR WOMEN 

comes in contact with It, in order that one 
may see where it is going as a result of the 
stroke. Women have from the days of Eve 
been accused of unlimited curiosity, but I am 
happy to say that I find from personal experi- 
ence that men are much more apt to take their 
eyes off than women, and that, therefore, 
feminine curiosity, in golf at least, is second 
to man's. 

I consider this point of such extreme im- 
portance that I earnestly advise all beginners 
to not only keep the eye on the ball until it 
is struck, but to keep it on the spot until the 
club has reached the end of the follow- 
through. 

Nor need this advice be considered appli- 
cable to beginners only. Players of a consid- 
erable amount of skill may find that their 
game improves amazingly by following it, 
and while I myself confess that I do not, 
when In good form, follow it quite to the 
extent of not moving my eye until my club 
has reached the extreme end of the stroke, 



THESWING 89 

I do so whenever I find that my game is not 
up to my best form. 

The expression *' keeping the eye on the 
ball," however, should not, in my opinion, be 
taken with too absolute literalness. I think 
that the eye should be focused not on the 
top of the ball, where it naturally would be 
if the ball were its object point, but on a 
spot of ground directly behind the ball itself. 
One advantage of this is that one is less apt 
to top the shot, and another that in this way 
the object upon which the eye has been fo- 
cused is not swept away at the middle of 
the shot, as it is if the eye is directly upon the 
ball, and it is in consequence much easier to 
keep it steadier until the end of the follow- 
through has been reached. Although we are 
dealing just now Vv^ith the importance of this 
point in its relations to the long game (as 
full shots with any distance-covering clubs 
are termed), it is equally important in every 
department of the game, down to six-inch 
putts, a point which I shall endeavor to im- 



90 GOLF FOR WOMEN 

press when the other shots are being discussed. 
Of its corollary, keeping the head in the 
same position, its value lies in the fact that 
if this is done, the body will not sway as the 
club goes back on the up-swing, and hands, 
arms, and clubs must therefore swing down 
on the same positions as those which they had 
assumed in addressing the ball, and which 
it naturally follows assures the ball being 
struck in the absolutely correct way. 

So thoroughly and entirely is this true that 
it is no uncommon feat for a professional, 
after assuming his stance and getting the 
correct address to the ball, to allow himself 
to be blindfolded, and then drive nearly as 
effective a shot as though his eyes were open. 
This, however, is something which can only 
be acquired by years of constant play, but 
it illustrates the importance of keeping the 
head still. 

If the player were only satisfied to drive 
a moderately long ball, and paid much more 
attention to the correct carrying out of these 



THESWING 91 

details than to the amount of strength put 
into the stroke in an endeavor to make the 
records of James Braid, Douglas Holland, 
and their like look insignificant, respectable 
driving from the tee through the green 
would not be such a difficult art, but ninety- 
nine out of every hundred players are not 
satisfied with this, and, in the endeavor to 
utilize every atom of strength, sway back an 
inch or two. There are several methods of 
practice which will overcome this fault. 

A very excellent one, which has the ad- 
vantage of being easy to take up at home, if 
you are so fortunate as to have a full-length 
mirror or a room large enough to allow of 
the swinging of a club in it without inter- 
ference with bric-a-brac and furniture, is to 
practice swinging in front of the mirror, 
needless to say without a ball. Then by look- 
ing up at one's reflection instead of directly 
at the spot where the ball should be, the 
movement of the head can be detected. 

This, of course, has the disadvantage of 



92 GOLF FOR WOMEN 

taking the eye from the spot it should be in 
the actual stroke. 

Another method, and probably a better 
one, is to assume a position on the tee with 
the sun directly at one's back, and watch the 
shadow of the head during the swing. In 
this way one can instantly tell whether it is 
being held immovable or not, and if not, the 
swing must of course be practiced until the 
desired result is achieved. 

The matter of practicing is another point 
which should be considered seriously, and not 
done haphazard. 

PRACTICING 

There is only one way in which a person 
can become a really high-class golfer, and 
that is by constant and thoughtful practice. 
The idea that it is the person who plays the 
most rounds of a course who will be the best 
player is entirely erroneous. It makes little 
dijfference in the improvement to be sought, 
how many times a player makes a certain shot, 



THESWING 93 

If each time It Is not made correctly, and In 
fact It Is worse to play constantly In bad form 
than not to play at all. 

The golfer who really wishes to Improve 
will make It a point to practice over and over 
again for ten or fifteen minutes at a time the 
same shot, be It drive, approach, or putt, and 
study the cause and effect of each one. 

It Is unwise to practice one style of shot 
more than fifteen minutes In succession, how- 
ever, for the muscles become a trifle tired 
from repeating the same motion time after 
time, and one also becomes a trifle careless, 
no matter how much this Is guarded against. 

To a person who reads this without stop- 
ping to think. It may seem that playing the 
regular round would be as good practice as 
the above method, but In the regular round 
you make a certain shot, and then have no 
opportunity of repeating It for five or ten 
minutes. In which time you have played a half- 
dozen or more other shots of an entirely dif- 
ferent nature. 



94 



GOLF FOR WOMEN 



When one is trying to acquire the proper 
swing for a stroke, it is by no means necessary 
that a ball should be used. In fact, it is often 
a good idea not to do so, for so weak is human 
nature, that the desire to make a fine drive out 
of the shot becomes overpowering, and in con- 
sequence the result becomes of more impor- 
tance than the method of achievement. 

A good substitute for the ball is a leaf, a 
bit of paper, or a cork, or anything, in fact, 
which will serve as an object point for the 
eye to focus upon. 




An Easy Shat 



CHAPTER VI 

THE LONG GAME 

THE four greatest obstacles to perfect 
driving are sclaffing, topping, pull- 
ing, and slicing, and any one of 
them is wonderfully easy — except when one 
really wishes to do so. 

With the exception of taking the eye off 
the ball or swaying the head with the move- 
ment of the body in the swing, there is prob- 
ably nothing in the glossary of golf which 
causes so much trouble as an improper stance. 
As it may seem, both sclaffing and its very 
reverse, topping, may be caused by the same 
fault, viz., standing too much in front of the 
ball, that is, with it placed nearly opposite the 
right foot instead of nearly opposite the left. 
The results of this kind of a stance are at once 
apparent in one's play, and the result could 
95 



96 GOLF FOR WOMEN 

easily be imagined if the player stopped to 
consider cause and effect. 

The first result of such a stance is that the 
swing becomes a " chop " instead of a sweep, 
and the club comes down either upon the top 
of the ball or under it instead of being 
swept away just as the club head begins to 
rise. 

The " pop-up " shot, which starts away 
from the tee with such promise, rises high in 
the heavens, and drops with such a disagree- 
able and annoying thud about fifty or one 
hundred yards short of where one expected 
from its fine start it was going to do, is caused 
by this kind of a choppy swing, as is also that 
most distressing of all things, a ball which 
runs with apparently tremendous speed along 
the ground, and loses itself in the first hazard 
upon the course. 

Pulling and slicing, two faults from which 
only the really first-class player is free, may 
be caused by an improper stance, but usually 
are the result of not forcing the arms and 



THE LONG GAME 97 

shoulders to finish out the stroke in the line 
of flight taken by the ball. 

This may happen from allowing the body to 
fall away from the ball as the club reaches it 
in the downward swing, or it may be due to 
pulling the arms around quickly to the left. 
If this is done, and the ball be struck squarely 
in the center of the club head, a terrific pull 
will result, while, if the arms have commenced 
to swerve enough to the left to cause the ball 
to be struck on the toe of the club, an equally 
great slice will result. 

The difference in cause is so slight, and that 
of result so great, that it takes an experienced 
player to recognize that both are caused by 
practically the same error. 

Other little faults which from time to time 
creep into a player's game, and for a longer 
or shorter time prevent the perfect execution 
of a drive, will be found to be due to a loose- 
ness of grip, or a carelessness regarding the 
way the thumbs are held, which may cause the 
club to turn in the hands. 



98 GOLF FOR WOMEN 

Another common cause for a slice or pull 
is that the club is not evenly soled when ad- 
dressing the ball, and in consequence it is at 
an angle when brought into contact with the 
ball in the swing. 

This is a more important point than many 
players believe, and the beginner especially 
should invariably be sure that both the heel 
and toe are on the ground, and that the face 
is at right angles to the tee. 

Another common fault is that of loosening 
every muscle of the body, and trying to get 
every particle of strength and weight into the 
stroke. This can only be done after a player 
has acquired a good share of proficiency, and 
while I by no means recommend that a player 
should endeavor to swing with no suppleness 
at all, I think it is better to err at first on the 
side of rigidity. 

Despite all these precautions, however, 
there will come a time when a drive cannot 
be made as it should be, and then there is 
only one thing to do» 



THE LONG GAME 99 

Adopt a half-swing, and try to make up 
for the lack of distance the club travels before 
reaching the ball by accuracy and power of 
the follow-through. 

With half a swing this is absolutely neces- 
sary In order to get any distance at all, and 
the practice will be found very beneficial to 
the length of the drive when a full swing is 
resumed, as well as being absolutely the only 
method of playing when the unhappy time of 
being unable to drive with a full swing arrives, 
as it undoubtedly will. 

PLAYING AGAINST THE WIND 

Nothing is more discouraging than to drive 
off what you consider a fine ball, and then 
have a wind take it away to one side, or 
else stop it at something like half the distance 
you felt sure it would go. The wind is a far 
more powerful factor than would seem pos- 
sible, considering the size of the ball upon 
which it has to operate, and while its baleful 
influences cannot always be entirely overcome, 

L.ofC. 



100 GOLF FOR WOMEN 

they can in most cases be rendered compara- 
tively harmless, and in some few instances 
made actually helpful. 

When playing against a wind which is di- 
rectly in one's teeth, the player should re- 
member that the slightest pull or slice will be 
magnified by the wind one-hundredfold, and 
accuracy should therefore be the first consid- 
eration. 

To obtain this one must of course maintain 
a perfect balance on the feet, and the best way 
to insure this is to swing easily — not try 
to put an extra amount of force into the 
stroke, as so many unthinking players do. If 
the ball is hit absolutely clean, and the follow- 
through is all that it should be, the drive will 
be within a few yards as far as though you 
had hit it with all your strength, and it is cer- 
tain that while a " pressed " shot may once in 
a dozen times be phenomenal, the eleven fail- 
ures will be more than ordinarily bad. 

It is true that a low ball hit in the right 
way will travel much further against a wind 



THE LONG GAME 101 

than a high ball, but it will not do so if its 
lowness is the result of a half-top. Trying to 
half top a ball causes more fully topped shots 
than one could count, and even if it is 
done successfully, the ball will not travel very 
far. 

One should use a low tee under any and all 
circumstances, and if this is done, a correctly 
hit ball will not fly high enough for the wind 
to have much of an effect upon it. 

With the wind directly at one's back the 
same rules remain in force, except that per- 
haps the tee might be made a fraction of an 
inch higher, in order that the ball may get up 
in the air a little more, and so give the wind 
an opportunity to exert its force. 

When the wind is blowing across the line 
of play, it may be made an aid by noticing 
whether it is blowing from left to right, or 
right to left, and playing for a slice or a 
pull as the case may be. By so doing one 
obtains in many instances nearly as much 
benefit from the wind as though It had 



102 GOLFFORWOMEN 

been from behind. It is so easy, and at 
times apparently so unavoidable, to slice and 
pull that it may seem like carrying coals to 
Newcastle to give advice on how to commit 
these chief sins of the golfing decalougue, but 
there are times when they have their uses the 
same as everything else. 

To pull a ball, the best method is to place 
the ball very little farther back than usual, 
aim very slightly to the right, and hit clean, 
exactly as though you wished to drive a 
straight ball. If properly carried out, this 
method will give quite enough pull to the 
shot to insure Its keeping a little bit more than 
straight against the wind, and It will have, 
when it strikes the ground, the rotary motion 
toward the left which is responsible for the 
long roll which all pulled balls have. In fact^ 
so much farther does a pulled drive go than 
even an absolutely straight one, that the 
majority of the best players endeavor to im- 
part a slight pull to every long shot they may 
be called upon to make, except, of course. 



THE LONG GAME 103 

where the character of the hnks makes a 
pulled shot liable to run into a hazard. 

A common method pursued when it is 
wished to pull a shot is to stand well in front 
of the ball and aim well to the right. This 
is a very bad policy, for it will result in so 
terrific a pull that it is impossible to gauge 
the distance it will cover, and much trouble is 
likely to follow its use. 

Another argument against its adoption is 
that, if one takes up this stance, the mind will 
instinctively think about achieving a pull, and 
the shoulders in consequence will instinctively 
swing around to the left, in order to help in 
the desired result, instead of leaving it to be 
accomplished by the stance, and the resultant 
pull will be quite too strong to be pleasant or 
useful. 

Slicing a ball when the wind is blowing 
from left to right (of course I refer invariably 
to right-handed players) is one of the most 
difficult and delicate strokes of the games. 
The reason that it is more so than is a pull 



104 GOLF FOR WOMEN 

comes from the fact that it is easier to overdo 
it, and also that the wind has much more 
effect upon it. 

When playing for a slice, aim a little to 
the left, and keep the ball well in front of 
you, almost opposite the left foot, and then 
play your shot exactly as though a straight 
drive were desired. If such a thing is pos- 
sible, the follow-through is even more im- 
portant than anywhere else. 

It may be thought that I have devoted too 
much space and gone into too many details in 
analyzing the movements which are combined 
in the perfect performance of the drive, but 
if one stops to consider that the stroke is 
really the fundamental principle upon which 
are based all the other full strokes of the 
game, it will be realized that it would be im- 
possible to dwell too strongly upon so im- 
portant and far-reaching a point. 

It is far too much to expect that the golfer 
will be possessed of sufficient self-restraint to 
refrain from making the rounds of the course 



THE LONG GAME 105 

after having once acquired a fairly proficient 
command of the driver, and I shall therefore 
proceed to offer some hints of a general char- 
acter before taking up the technical points in 
which lie the secrets of the brassey and 
cleek 

AMOUNT TO PLAY 

The amount that a person can play and 
yet keep at the top of her game depends ab- 
solutely on the individual physique and mental 
temperament. Generally speaking, if one 
devotes a half hour to practicing certain shots 
over and over again, and follows this practice 
with an eighteen-hole round of the links three 
times a week, it Is quite enough to obtain the 
best results. Still, the point, like so many 
others, must be determined by the player per- 
sonally. 

I think it rather better to play eighteen 
holes three times a week than thirty-six holes 
on two days, unless one Is fortunate enough 
to be able to reach the club with a very short 



106 GOLF FOR WOMEN 

journey, for most golfers will find it neces- 
sary to spend from an hour to an hour and a 
half traveling befor'e reaching the links, and 
this trip added to thirty-six holes of golf over 
the long course and the return trip to town 
makes a little more exertion than is beneficial 
to the average woman. Still, if the course is 
easy to walk over, and a trial finds you fresh 
and energetic after such a day's golf, there is 
no reason why your play should not be done 
in this way. 

OVERGOLF 

There is one point over which the golfer 
who really desires to improve will come to 
grief more surely than she who is not so en- 
thusiastic, and the more earnest the player, 
the more certainly is she in danger of ship- 
wreck in this Scylla of golf. This is the 
matter of playing too much. Once you feel 
you are overgolfed, lay aside your clubs, no 
matter what the temptation to play, for sev- 
eral days, or a week is better if your moral 



THE LONG GAME 107 

strength is of sufficient caliber to withstand 
such a strain, and banish the thought of golf 
from your mind. It may be the hardest bit 
of self-denial you have ever accomplished, but 
it will pay in the long run. 

There is absolutely nothing which will 
bring disaster on the links and despair to 
your heart so quickly and fiercely and ever- 
lastingly as trying to play when over- 
golfed. 

The novice may think I speak too strongly, 
but I assure her I do not. Nothing goes right. 
Your drives are sliced or pulled or topped or 
sclaffed, your approaches the same. Your 
putts simply will not go into the hole. Or if 
they do go in, they will not stay there. They 
roll around the edge of the cup and hang on 
the lip, and seem to grin at you with fiendish 
delight, and the more care you take, the 
worse matters become. There is but one 
remedy. Stop playing, and the sooner you 
realize it the better it will be both for your 
game and your conscience. 



108 GOLF FOR WOMEN 

ACCURACY 

Next to a good style, the most important 
thing to aim for is accuracy of direction. It 
makes little difference whether one is five 
yards more or less distant from the tee after 
a drive, provided the ball has gone straight 
for the hole and is lying on the fair green in 
the center of the course, but if it is in the long 
grass, or other trouble which almost in- 
variably is to be found on either side of the 
line of play, the added five yards of distance 
which lands one here will be found very 
costly, for it will take a stroke to get out of 
the trouble, and another to reach the point 
where a good second after a straight drive 
would have placed the ball. 

The same principle is exemplified when the 
green is within reach. A straight shot reaches 
it, and then the orthodox two putts should see 
one down, while a wildly played approach will 
necessitate a little approach putt and usually 
the other two as well, the distinct loss of a 
Stroke. 



THE LONG GAME 



109 



One of the best methods to Insure accuracy 
is to never " press," but use a club which will 
give the desired distance with an easy swing. 

Thus, if pressing with a cleek will achieve 
the desired result, take a brassey; if a mid-iron 
might do it, take a cleek ; and so on down the 
list of clubs. 




CHAPTER VII 

THE LONG GAME (continued) 

UPON every golf-course there should 
be, and almost invariably is, a pro- 
portion of holes so long that it will 
require two, or even three, shots with the full 
power of the driver to reach the green. 

The point of arranging the distance of the 
holes on a golf-course so that it is necessary 
to play shots perfectly in order to reach the 
green in two or three or four, as the case may 
be, is a most important one for the develop- 
ment of good golf, but one which is, most 
unfortunately, only too often overlooked. It 
is so manifestly unfair to have a hole of such 
a distance that a player can make a poor drive 
and still reach the green in two by making a 
good brassey, and be just as well off as a 
player who has made a good drive and a good 
110 



THE LONG GAME 111 

approach shot with a mashie, that it is very 
discouraging to the good player, and to play 
over a course so arranged takes away much of 
the pleasure of the game. 

Supposing, however, that the course has 
been correctly laid out and the distance ar- 
ranged so that full shots with the driver are 
required, the point arises, as soon as a bad lie 
Is found, of what club to use which will not 
only lift the ball out of the bad lie, but has the 
power to achieve the desired distance. The 
club designed for the express purpose is the 
brassey. Of course, where the lie is good 
enough, the driver should be used, but when 
there is any doubt whatsoever of the ability 
to get the ball away with the driver the 
brassey should be taken. 

This club is really like a driver, except that 
its face is usually laid back a trifle so as to 
impart a loft to the ball, and on Its sole is 
fastened a thin piece of brass. 

In playing a brassey, practically the same 
§wing should be used in the drive proper, ex- 



112 GOLF FOR WOMEN 

cept that it should not be allowed to swing 
back quite so far. 

In driving a ball from a tee, one should 
endeavor to hit it as cleanly as possible, but 
when the lie is such that a brassey is being 
used, one should not endeavor to do this. 

On the contrary, the club should be brought 
down more perpendicularly, and the ground 
struck at the same time with the ball. 

In playing a brassey, do not imagine that 
because the ground should be struck as well 
as the ball, an extra amount of force must be 
imparted to the stroke. 

Rather to the contrary, for the whole se- 
cret of successfully negotiating a bad lie is 
the cleanness with which the ball is picked up, 
and, as I have reiterated in former chapters, 
the " follow-through." 

In addressing the ball for a brassey-shot, it 
should be a trifle nearer the right foot than 
when a tee shot is being played, and that foot 
should also be somewhat further advanced 
than in the other instance. It may sound 



THE LONG GAME 113 

absurd to say that one inch Is about the dis- 
tance, but a golfer will readily appreciate the 
difference which such an even apparently in- 
significant distance will make. 

If the player has been wise enough to ac- 
custom herself to the use of a low tee she 
should have no difficulty in hitting her brassey- 
shots cleanly, but if she has been accustomed 
to driving off from a mound of sand any- 
where from one to three inches in height, she 
will probably find that the brassey-shots are 
being topped most distressfully. This is one 
of the punishments of using a high tee, and 
should offer an argument in favor of a low 
one, sufficiently strong to make the golfer 
discard that violation of the traditions of golf 
at once and for evermore, and the argument is 
equally applicable to all the shots played 
through the field. 

The best way to remedy the fault, after 
discarding the high tee, is to fasten the eye 
on a spot directly behind instead of upon the 
ball when preparing for a stroke, as was ad- 



114 GOLF FOR WOMEN 

vised in the first place. This has the effect of 
bringing the objective focus of the eye to a 
spot a trifle lower than in the other method, 
and the result is that the club is instinctively 
swung a little lower, bringing it down to the 
proper level. 

Sometimes a player will strike the ground 
so hard a blow, in endeavoring to avoid top- 
ping, that the wrist will receive a severe jar, 
and the memory of it will cause the player to 
err on the other side, with the result that a 
long series of " tops " will result. There is 
only one way to overcome this, and that is to 
play the shots easily and carefully until the 
feeling of flinching disappears. 

If one is sclaffing brassey-shots continually 
in an effort to avoid topping, it may be over- 
come by looking at a spot just ahead of the 
ball, on the same principle that constant 
topping may be overcome by looking be- 
hind it. 

Beyond these points the advice laid down 
for the performance of a drive, the timing of 



THE LONG GAME 116 

the stroke, the necessity of accuracy, etc., etc., 
appHes equally to the brassey. 

One of the hardest " lies " from which to 
negotiate a good shot is from what is called 
a " hanging lie," that is, when the ground 
behind the ball slopes upward. The ball may 
be perched upon a tuft of grass which sets it 
up as high as though it were on the tee, but 
nevertheless it is an extremely difficult and un- 
pleasant situation. The only way to nego- 
tiate it successfully is to allow the club to go 
through after the ball in accordance with the 
dip of the ground; and another thing to be 
very particular about here, and in the per- 
formance of every other stroke as well, is 
to see that the face of the club is not turned 
in, or in other words, that the end of the face 
is not nearer the left foot than the heel. 

The next most powerful club, meaning the 
distance which it will drive the ball, is the 
cleek. 

This is an almost straight-faced iron club, 
and with it one should be able to get within 



116 GOLF FOR WOMEN 

about twenty or thirty yards of the distance 
one can get with a brassey. It is played prac- 
tically like a brassey, and should be used in 
its place when one is afraid of overplaying 
with the latter, or when the lie is particularly 
bad and it is necessary to get distance. 

Next to the cleek in power is the mid-iron, 
and then the mashie. 

APPROACHING 

Technically, of course, every shot, except 
the drive from the tee, which is expected to 
land the ball upon the green, is an approach, 
but the term is usually regarded to mean only 
shots played with a mid-iron or mashie, or, in 
other words, those from a distance of about 
1 1 o yards down to where the putter is em- 
ployed. There are many ways of playing 
approach shots, and there is no more im- 
portant part of the game than this, not even 
excepting putting, which is, I must confess, 
usually regarded as the most difficult and 
most important part of the game. While 



THE LONG GAME 117 

putting is undoubtedly of the greatest im- 
portance, the player who can lay her ball 
within a very few feet of the hole from a 
long approach shot practically saves a stroke, 
for she should occasionally go down in one 
putt, and always in two, while it is a grand 
putter indeed who can always go down in two 
putts when her ball lies thirty or forty feet 
away. 

In playing approach shots, the importance 
of accuracy is intensified, for the distance to 
be covered is so small that the short player is 
just as well off as the long one, and the ad- 
vantage which the latter enjoys from her su- 
periority in that department from the tee and 
through the field is lost. 

In playing a full shot, while it is extremely 
pleasant to see the ball go sailing away clean 
and sweet and dead on the line of the flag, it 
makes really no difference whether it does 
just that or whether it goes ten or fifteen yards 
to the right or left. When it comes to ap- 
proaching the green, however, it is a different 



118 GOLFFORWOMEN 

matter, and this ten or fifteen yards to one side 
or the other resolves itself into the question 
of a stroke more or less. 

In playing approaches, the point mentioned 
in a former chapter regarding the use of a 
club which will carry the required distance 
without either pressing or trying to spare the 
shot is particularly apropos. 

There are two ways of playing approach 
shots. 

One is to play them up in the air with a 
little cut on the ball so that they will drop 
with comparatively little roll, and the other is 
to play them low and depend upon a long run. 

Both have advantages, and while it is better 
to settle upon one way and use it whenever 
practicable, one should endeavor to master 
both methods, for upon every course there will 
be some holes where each will be found 
necessary. 

When golf was younger in America than 
it is to-day, and our courses were consequently 
more imperfect and rougher, the highly lofted 



THE LONG GAME 119 

approach which would drop with compara- 
tively little roll was the favorite among 
players generally, from the fact that if one 
dropped the ball upon the green it ran truly, 
while an approach played so that it would 
bound and roll along the ground (which in 
those days was usually quite rough) exposed 
it to the chances of being turned widely from 
its true course by contact with the lumps in 
the ground. 

A point against the highly lofted approach 
was that it was quite as liable to be swerved 
from its proper course by the wind as the low 
shot was by the rough ground. 

This objection still holds good, while in 
the last year or two courses have improved 
so greatly that the ball in the vast majority of 
instances may be depended upon to roll 
straight, and for this reason the low approach 
shot is more generally used, when the condi- 
tions are such that a choice can be made, 

Another point in favor of this style of ap- 
proach shot is that it is decidedly easier to 



120 



GOLF FOR WOMEN 



correctly gauge the proper amount of force 
necessary to cover a given distance when 
hitting with a straighter-faced club than when 
using a well-lofted one. 

Still another point in its favor is that if 
one fails to hit the ball exactly as one should, 
the results are not so disastrous, for a half- 
topped or a sclaffed shot from off a compara- 
tively straight-faced club gets much nearer 
the mark than when this unhappy result is 
achieved with a greatly lofted one. 






^ 




I 


^^' 

^ 



CHAPTER VIII 

THE SHORT GAME 

A LTHOUGH the term " approaching " 
/-\ technically includes every stroke 
which will place the ball on the 
putting-green, be it made with driver, cleek, 
mashie, or even putter, the usually accepted 
definition of an approach shot is one made 
with a mid-iron or mashie, and executed with 
a three-quarters, one-half, or wrist stroke. 

This is the first reference which I have 
made in these chapters to anything less than a 
full shot, and lest someone should mistake my 
meaning when reference is made to three- 
quarters or half shots, I will explain imme- 
diately that this is the manner in which shots 
executed with a swing which is but three- 
quarters or one-half of the arc described by 
a full stroke, are designated, and have no 
131 



122 GOLF FOR WOMEN 

reference whatever to the distance about to 
be covered. Frequently a half-shot made 
by a person with especially strong wrists 
can be made to go nearly as far as a full 
shot. 

The wrist shot is, as its name implies, made 
practically through the action of the wrists 
alone, and necessarily calls for the utmost 
accuracy and delicacy. 

At the beginning of this work the point 
was made that it is much easier to play cor- 
rectly a shot which would cover the distance 
with ease than to play it with a club with 
which one must press, and important as that 
point is in the playing of full shots, it is even 
more so when approaches are to be made. 
To my mind, the shorter the shot, the more 
difficult it is to play correctly. 

In the first place there is always an instinc- 
tive feeling of carelessness induced by the 
apparent easiness of the shot, and this is the 
forerunner of a sclaff or a top. 

In a short approach, too, these sins are 




TOP OF SWING FOR 35-YARD APPROACir. 



•%^ 



FINISH OF .SWING FOR 35-YARD APPROACH. 



THE SHORT GAME 123 

usually more severely punished than the same 
deflections from the perfect stroke would be 
in a full shot. There Is so little force behind 
a thirty- or forty-yard approach shot, that 
unless It Is hit cleanly it will be considerably 
short, while if an amount of force Is put Into 
it sufficient to allow for a sclaff or top, and 
still reach the cup, then, if one happens to 
make the stroke cleanly, the ball will be away 
over the hole. In a full shot, on the other 
hand, the momentum of the club is so great 
that one can frequently sclaff a little or even 
half top the ball and still get practically the 
same distance as though It had been hit clean, 
and there is also the point that two or three 
yards, when one is one hundred and fifty 
yards away, make vastly less difference than 
does the same distance when one is thirty or 
forty yards away. 

To emphasize the importance of good ap- 
proach play would be futile. As one mentally 
reviews past matches and remembers how the 
medal at such and such a tournament was lost 



124 GOLF FOR WOMEN 

by a poor drive, it would seem as though the 
long game was by all odds the most im- 
portant part of a successful career on the 
links. But at many another meeting we re- 
member that the cup was lost despite a long 
game in which not even the most carping 
critic could find a flaw, and solely because of 
a poor approach shot now and then. Then 
it is that one forgets the fact that the long 
game is important and sighs, *' Oh, for an 
always perfect approach ! " And then again 
it is a great, albeit sad, truth that it is useless 
to hope to win golf matches if one cannot be 
sure of putting out in two after reaching the 
green. 

So it goes. And the most important part 
of golf remains, like the will-o'-the-wisp, a 
phantasma which one wearily pursues only 
to find that, just as it is within one's grasp, it 
has changed its hue and the chase must be 
resumed once more. Still, good approaching 
means many saved strokes. 

The player who can depend upon holing 



THE SHORT GAME 126 

out in three from the approaching distance 
will never be beaten very badly. 

The idea is of course to lay the approach 
so close to the hole that one's first putt is 
sure to be stone-dead, if not down indeed. 
She who can do this should be happy. 

Of course it is by no means impossible to 
get down in two from whatever part of the 
putting-green the approach has left you, but 
it is an unpleasant feeling io feel at each 
green that one must lay a thirty-foot putt 
stone-dead, and even the best of us some- 
times fail by a yard or two. Then, it is a 
case of nerves truly. 

No doubt all readers of this humble work 
would be quite equal to holing eighteen 
two-yard putts in a round, but everyone is 
still mortal, and it is much better fun, to my 
mind, to be three inches away and have one's 
opponent playing to hole a two-yard putt for a 
half than to be in that position one's self. Be- 
sides a stroke is a stroke, and one saved by 
holing out in one putt is as valuable an aid to 



126 GOLF FOR WOMEN 

winning a match or a medal as one gained in 
any other way. Decidedly, then, we must 
admit that approaching is useful. 

Another point is that everyone holes a 
certain proportion of all putts, no matter what 
the distance. 

And that proportion decreases very rapidly 
with each foot added to the distance to be 
holed. 

It may be eighty or ninety per cent, at a 
foot, and it is quite likely to be one-tenth of 
one per cent, at thirty feet, and so naturally 
the more putts one has to hole at the shorter 
distance, the higher will be the percentage, 
and the greater will be the number of strokes 
saved. 

In the last chapter I devoted considerable 
space to a discussion as to the advisability of 
playing one's approaches high in the air or 
running them along the ground, and therefore 
will pass over that point now. 

When the distance is such that the player 
determines to make her approach with a cleek 




TOP OF SWING FOR 80-YARD APPROACH. 




FIXISIl OF SWIXG FOR 80-YARD APPROACH. 



THE SHORT GAME 127 

or iron, the stance and swing differ but little 
from those with which she has become familiar 
in learning to drive, except that ojie usually 
advances the right foot an inch or two more, 
and stands a little more upright, or, in other 
words, closer to the ball. Another point of 
difference is that the club should not go back 
so far in the upward swing, and it should also 
be raised more vertically, not trailed along 
back as closely to the ground as possible, as 
in a drive, and the difference should be ac- 
centuated as the distance of the shot decreases. 
For making an approach shot of any dis- 
tance between that for which a cleek is the 
proper club and approximately down to lOO 
yards from the hole, I use a mid-iron. In 
playing a shot of this kind, the same rules 
which governed the cleek play may remain 
in force, except that, as the distance to be 
covered in the shot decreases, the right foot 
should be advanced a trifle. The ball should 
also be a trifle nearer the right foot, say an 
inch or possibly two, than for a cleek shot. 



128 GOLF FOR WOMEN 

The grip to be employed when grasping the 
club for a cleek or mid-iron shot differs 
slightly from that used when making a drive 
or brassey. As the accompanying illustra- 
tions show, the fingers grip the club somewhat 
more closely, the most noticeable difference 
being that the forefinger of the right hand is 
more closely wrapped around the club. After 
waggling and swinging the club backward 
and forward a few times to accustom one's 
self to the new way of holding the club, grip 
it tightly and take the proper stance. In 
doing this, it should be remembered that a 
straight line drawn through the center of the 
ball and the hole is the direction to be played 
for, and this must be aimed at regardless of 
where it seems from the stance that the ball 
should fly. 

Also be sure that the face of the club, as 
Its sole rests on the ground when addressing 
the ball, is at right angles to the hne of play. 

In making a drive, brassey, or cleek shot, 
it is an extremely desirable thing to hit the 



THE SHORT GAME 



129 



ball with such cleanness that the ground re- 
mains untouched, but in making an approach 
with a mid-iron, mashie, or jigger, the club 
should be allowed to cut the turf a little, just 
as the ball is struck by the club head and starts 
away. To allow the club to touch the ground 
before reaching the ball would spoil the whole 
stroke, as the ball could not then be hit clean, 
and this is absolutely essential if a truly gauged 
approach is to be made. The club should not 
be stopped in its swing, however, for as much 
importance attaches to the follow-through of 
an approach shot as to that of a drive. 




CHAPTER IX 

THE SHORT GAME (continued) 

WITH the very agreeable supposi- 
tion fixed in mind, if not in actual 
practice, that the cleek and iron 
have been thoroughly mastered, and that a 
shot of one hundred yards or more is now one 
of the easiest things in the world for her 
Ladyship-o'the-Links to accomplish perfectly, 
let us take up the shots which range from 
that distance downward until the putting- 
green itself is reached. 

These may be played with a jigger, which 
is a sort of cross between a mid-iron and 
mashie, or a mashie itself, as the individual 
preference of the player may indicate. 

In any event I adopt a decidedly different 
style of grip for playing these shots. As the 
accompanying illustration will show, my hands 



THE SHORT GAME 131 

are interlocked as they are in the grip for 
driver and brassey, and in this particular there 
is little change. The radical point of dif- 
ference lies in the position of the thumbs, and 
particularly the right thumb. This I press 
firmly on the top of the club shaft, so that 
my entire thumb is in contact with it. The 
advantage of this departure from the other 
grip is in the better direction one can secure 
with it when making a short shot. 

When one is about to play an approach shot 
of one hundred yards or less, and there is no 
bunker or other hazard, the question arises 
whether to play a running-up approach or a 
boldly lofted one. 

There are advantages to be gained from 
each style of play. 

Providing it has been determined to play 
the lofted shot, one should take several pre- 
liminary swings a couple of feet away from 
the ball to gauge the force with which to 
swing in order to put the ball on the green. 
In the cleek and wooden-club shots, where 



132 GOLF FOR WOMEN 

one hits with only a desire to carry as great 
a distance as possible, a preliminary swing 
is useful only as a means of loosening one's 
swing, but in approaching it also acts as a 
gauge to the amount of force. 

One of the greatest evils of a short ap- 
proach shot is the tendency to drag the club 
through the stroke, as it were, instead of 
striking it sharply and firmly, as should be 
done. And the tendency to do this increases 
in the same ratio as the distance to be cov- 
ered diminishes, for it seems, with but a thirty- 
or forty-yard shot to make, that if one hit 
the ball sharply it would go over the green. 

The remedy for this is, of course, to shorten 
the swing until at some distances the club 
head may not swing backward over six or 
eight inches, while the entire action is brought 
about by the wrist alone. 

As the right foot is advanced a trifle, when 
making a cleek-shot, over the position it 
should hold when making a full shot with 
a wooden club, so does the same foot con- 




BEGINNING OF CUTTING UNDER-STUOKE. 




FINISH OF CUTTING UaXDEK-STllOKE, 



THE SHORT GAME 133 

tinue to advance as the distance to be covered 
decreases, and the result is that when the 
player is making a thirty-yard approach, the 
right foot is so far in advance that its heel 
would be about two or three inches over 
a line drawn at right angles from the ball 
to the left toe. In the same ratio does the 
amount of space from the ball to the right 
foot diminish, so that when the stance for a 
thirty-yard approach is taken, the ball is 
within an inch or two of a line drawn straight 
through the heel and toe of the right foot, 
and perhaps from eighteen to twenty-four 
inches in front of the right toe. The in- 
stinctive effect of the advancement of the 
right foot has been to turn the body to the 
left — or towards the line of play, in other 
words — and in consequence one is practically 
facing the disk when making a very short 
shot. 

In the performance of the strokes hereto- 
fore discussed, stress was laid on the impor- 
tance of getting the weight and momentum 



134 GOLF FOR WOMEN 

of the body into them, but this becomes of 
less and less importance as the distance de- 
creases. In fact, all the shots of from sixty 
to thirty yards should be made with the arms 
alone, although the body may be allowed to 
turn an inch or so if one feels that by so do- 
ing the swing will be freer. Under no cir- 
cumstances, however, should one endeavor 
to have the body take any part in the 
stroke. 

The action of the wrists is extremely im- 
portant in all shots, and never more so than 
in approaching. In fact, when making shots 
of the shorter distance mentioned above, and 
under, one should use them to the very full- 
est extent, and hold the arms as immovable 
as possible. 

The methods detailed above are those 
which are the natural results of the methods 
of making a full shot, modified to suit the 
conditions of the distance to be covered, and 
the system, I think, is certainly the best for 
that reason, if no other. 



THE SHORT GAME 135 

Still, one can make good approaches by 
keeping the elbows and wrists stiff and per- 
forming the whole stroke with the shoulders. 
The only advantage I can see to this style 
of play, however, is that the ball does not rise 
so high as it does when played in the other 
way — an advantage, it must be admitted, 
when the wind is blowing strongly; but this 
can be secured also by using a straighter- 
faced club with the other style of swing. 

If you glance at the photographs illus- 
trating the approach shots, it will be noticed 
that the knees are bent slightly more than 
they are when playing the long game, and 
that the body is likewise bent over a trifle 
more. 

The weight of the body should be very 
gradually shifted from being divided pretty 
equally between the two feet, as it is in the 
long game, to the right foot as it advances 
with the shortening of the shot, but under no 
circumstances should either foot be allowed 
to move. 



136 GOLF FOR WOMEN 

When playing a lofted approach, it is, of 
course, desirable to have as little run follow 
the landing of the ball as possible, it being 
thus easier to judge the distance to be 
covered. 

After one has achieved a fair degree of 
skill, the ball, even if played naturally, will 
not run many yards. But still it may be 
wise to endeavor to acquire the art of play- 
ing short approaches sixty yards or less with 
what is technically known as a " back spin," 
the idea being to drop the ball dead. This 
comes into play most handily in such a situ- 
ation as a green with a bunker or other 
hazard immediately at its back and some- 
thing directly before it, over which the ball 
must be pitched. 

There are not, it is true, very many such 
holes on the standard golf-courses, but time 
and again a match has been won or lost by a 
single hole. 

The way to impart this back spin to a ball 
is to play it with a slice or cut, and this is 



THE SHORT GAME 137 

made by drawing the arms in towards the 
body as they descend in the downward swing, 
stopping the stroke as soon as the club touches 
the balh It is an extremely hard shot to play 
correctly, and I do not advocate it except 
in some extreme case like that mentioned 
above. 

If one has a beautiful lie with the ball teed 
up so that it is easy to cut under it, the shot 
is not so impossible, but when the lie is bad, 
it is a " class " player indeed who can bring 
it off successfully. 

If it is to be attempted, however, one must 
bear in mind that the effect of the back spin 
will be to make whatever run there is to the 
ball take effect to the right of the spot where 
it touches the ground. 

This, of course, makes it necessary to play 
for the left of, and not straight at, the flag. 
Just how much allowance must be made, ex- 
perience only can accurately tell, but it will 
be found to be somewhere around one or 
two yards. This shot should never be at- 



138 GOLF FOR WOMEN 

tempted when at a longer distance from the 
hole than sixty yards, for if it is, it is likely 
to be so greatly deflected that the result 
would be more disastrous than if played 
straight. 

Nor is it good generalship to try to put 
a back spin on the ball because the wind is 
behind it. If the wind is strong the effect 
of the back spin will be neutralized, and if 
it is not strong, it will have but little effect 
on the ball anyway. 

It is a fact that the longer an approach is, 
the less run there will be on the ball, and 
therefore a little twenty-five-yard wrist shot 
often has a longer run than a hundred-yard 
full iron. 

Perhaps the best way to play a ball with- 
out run is to lay back the face of the club. 
When this is done the player should stand 
more behind the ball — that is, her left foot 
should be nearer it than the right. The same 
result may be accomplished by having a 
special club for just such shots made with 



THE SHORT GAME 



139 



the face abnormally laid back, but both of 
these methods are open to the disadvantage 
that with them the chances are about equal 
of cutting under the ball without touching it, 
and thus making a rank foozle. 




CHAPTER X 

APPROACHING AND PUTTING 

THE very best way of all of playing 
an approach shot so that it will 
have a minimum of run after it 
lands is, like the best of everything else, the 
most difficult to acquire. 

Among golfers it is known as " cutting 
the feet from it," and difficult as it is to put 
into execution, it is still more difficult to 
describe it so that an unpractical golfer will 
know what is meant. The accompanying 
illustrations, however, show the main point 
of difference from the ordinary approach shot 
very clearly. 

The main point is the decidedly more per- 
pendicular swing necessary for the stroke. 
The grip and stance need not be changed. 
The club must be brought down sharply and 
carried right into the turf, not swept over 
140 



PUTTING 141 

It as in an ordinary approach shot, and then 
at the moment of impact the arms should 
be whipped right up into the air as quickly 
and as straight as possible, the whole stroke 
giving a decided snap to the ball. As it is 
necessary to cut well into the turf to perform 
this stroke with the best results, it should not 
be attempted unless the turf is soft enough 
to admit of a club cutting into it easily. 

And while speaking of cutting into turf, in 
this connection I am going to give a bit of 
advice which will, I am afraid, bring down 
upon me the wrath of all Green Committees, 
but which I must perforce brave. If I am to 
set forth truly my ideas on the game. 

In making all approach shots, I cut away 
the grass, and sometimes take a bit of turf 
as well, and I think that so doing adds con- 
siderable steadiness to one's play. 

I am far from being an advocate of taking 
a divot with the stroke. There Is nothing 
more reprehensible to my mind than the 
golfer who goes serenely along the course, 



142 GOLF FOR WOMEN 

tearing out great chunks of earth three or 
four inches long and equally wide, and from 
one to three inches deep, at each stroke. The 
class of golfers who do this are invariably 
not only of very mediocre ability, but they 
are either so ignorant of the rules and eti- 
quette of the game, or so utterly selfish and 
careless, that they pay no heed as to where 
the divots fall or to the place whence they 
were torn. These become, of course, little 
cups into which the ball of the next player 
and all succeeding ones roll with unvarying 
regularity, with the result that it is rarely 
indeed that the ball can be played as it should 
be, and a loss of a stroke is thereby recorded. 

No matter how small an amount of grass 
or turf be cut away, see yourself that it is 
replaced and trampled down. Far too many 
players leave this important duty to caddies, 
who, as a general rule, are carelessness and 
inefficiency personified. 

Before closing the chapter on approaching, 
it is only right that the second most general 



PUTTING 143 

method of approaching should receive men- 
tion. Of course every golfer will modify 
any style to a greater or less degree to cor- 
respond to her own personal likings and limi- 
tations, after she has attained a fair degree 
of proficiency, but next to the method already 
described, the majority of approaches are 
played from the stance technically known as 
" playing off the left leg," 

In this position the ball is nearly on a line 
with the center of the left foot, and that is 
quite a distance back of the right one. The 
weight, instead of being principally on the 
right leg, is principally on the left, and the 
body is bent over a trifle more, perhaps, than 
in the other method. The arms also are kept 
in rather more towards the body. 

I cannot see that there are any advantages 
in this method myself, but its advocates 
claim that with it one can secure a much 
straighter line of play, and when one is a little 
off in the orthodox method, it might be well 
to try this. 



144 GOLF FOR WOMEN 

PUTTING 

When the ball has once been safely landed 
on the putting-green and mashie laid aside, 
one lays aside with it all the pretensions to 
a single style of play which has been under- 
lying all the strokes heretofore discussed. In 
other words, while all drives, brassey-strokes, 
cleeks, and even mashie-shots are performed 
by strokes the principles of which are based 
upon one general principle, however much 
individual preferences may cause them to be 
modified, putting is performed exactly as 
each individual player sees fit. One way 
seems quite as good as another. The whole 
point is to get the ball in the hole in the 
fewest possible number of strokes, and there 
are as many different ways of standing and 
as many different ways of hitting the ball as 
there are players. 

Another point in which putting departs 
from the other departments of the game is 
that no player even pretends to always putt 



PUTTING 145 

in the same way or even with the same club. 
Of course the change in clubs might be ex- 
plained by the difference in the nature of the 
turf over which one was putting if the games 
were being played on different links, but one 
is quite as apt to see the change in putting 
take place two or three times during the 
progress of a championship match on an 
eighteen-hole course, as on different days on 
different links. 

All good golf depends more or less upon 
having one's eye " right," but this is very 
much more true of putting than any other 
stroke in the game. It is no uncommon thing 
for a professional or even a high-class ama- 
teur to take his stance, swing a driver two 
or three times over an imaginary tee, then 
blindfold himself, have a caddie tee up a 
ball on the spot over which his club swung 
before, and then drive away practically as 
good a shot as he would have done had his 
eyes been open. No one could hole a two-or- 
three-foot putt with eyes blinded, however, 



146 GOLF FOR WOMEN 

no matter how many times he or she had 
previously holed the putt from a certain 
stance. 

The reason of this is, of course, the abso- 
lute accuracy required to putt the ball over 
a piece of turf, filled as are even the very 
best of putting-greens with miniature in- 
equalities, and have It going with sufficient 
velocity to reach the cup surely, but yet not 
so swiftly that It will not be caught and held 
by the lip of the cup. 

This cup is so small (It is barely 2j4 inches 
In diameter) that unless the ball strikes abso- 
•lutely the center of the back of it, it will roll 
around the rim and run out, a performance 
which is one of the most annoying and exasper- 
ating things In the whole catalogue of such 
things, and of which it sometimes seems that 
the entire game of golf Is completely com- 
posed. 

It is a very strange, yet a very true, fact 
that hardly one golfer in ten realizes the 
important part which putting plays In the 



PUTTING 147 

game of golf, from the fact that, If one has 
become a fair master of the mashie and mid- 
iron, one may play along for a half-dozen 
holes or so and never be called upon to play 
a putt of more than six or seven feet, and 
this distance at a casual glance seems so in- 
significant as compared to the distances to 
be covered with drives or irons that the un- 
thinking player immediately decides that the 
longer shot is of the more importance. A 
moment's reflection, however, shows most 
emphatically that it is not. 

A player of average ability should reach 
three-fourths of the putting-greens in the 
average course in two strokes, and the other 
one-fourth in three strokes. Now, on the 
other hand, there are no players, even of the 
very highest class, who hope to hole out after 
reaching the putting-green in less than an 
average of two strokes, and there are quite 
as many times when three will be necessary 
as there are when it will be necessary to take 
three strokes to reach the green itself. 



148 GOLF FOR WOMEN 

As it is sad, but emphatically the fact, that 
a putt of two inches counts just as largely in 
one's score as a drive of 200 yards, it will be 
seen that the number of putts required in an 
average game will be quite as great as the 
number of strokes of all other kinds com- 
bined required to complete the round. 

If more golfers realized this there would 
be much more practicing done on the putting- 
green than there is to-day. 

As a matter of fact, I think it is quite 
safe to say that many players, even among 
those who practice driving and approaching 
•most conscientiously, never think of taking a 
putter in their hands, except during the course 
of a match. Among the first-rank players, 
however, the reverse is quite true. The few 
moments' practice with the wooden clubs and 
long irons suffices them, and then they will 
put in an hour holing out putts of from 
eighteen inches back to the edge of the 
green. 

There is a term often used in the news- 



PUTTING 149 

papers and among golfers which frequently 
puzzles those whose knowledge of the Royal 
and Ancient game is perhaps more confined 
to " hitting the ball " than studying the fine 
points of the game. This term is " the ortho- 
dox two putts," and comes from the fact that 
in figuring a par or a bogey score the player 
is allowed two putts after reaching the put- 
ting-green, whether the ball is on its extreme 
edge or whether it is within a foot of the 
hole. V 

The reason for this is, that in figuring par 
or bogey play it is customary to figure that 
one should be able to lie dead to the hole, 
— or, in other words, so close to it that the 
next stroke will certainly put the ball in in 
one shot, leaving the other for the accom- 
plishment of the few inches which remain 
to be covered. 

There is no less chance of winning a stroke 
on the way to the putting-green than there is 
once the green has been reached, for most 
of the average players will reach it in two 



160 GOLF FOR WOMEN 

or three or four strokes, as the case may be, 
as well as the most expert, the difference being 
in the nearness one reaches to the hole; and 
whether one reaches the green in a drive and 
mashie, or drive and brassey, and whether 
one is ten feet from the cup or twenty makes 
very little difference if one can putt. 

Good putting goes by streaks. On certain 
days one cannot miss holing every putt for 
ten feet down, and occasionally one from the 
extreme edge of the green, while putts of a 
yard or two which formerly have frozen his 
heart with terror at the mere thought of 
trying to hole them, have become like de- 
lightful old friends of whose kindness and 
regard one is always sure. Miss them? 
Never; and the happy golfer cries, "Eu- 
reka ! I have discovered the secret ! No 
more will I mentally weep and gnash my 
teeth at the missing of the putts. The world 
is mine ! Hurrah ! " On such glad, glorious 
days as these even the putts of between 
eighteen inches and three feet, which are ac- 




THE PUTTING GRIP. 



PUTTING 151 

knowledged by all players of quality to be 
the hardest to hole, lose their terrors. 

To digress for a moment more : it is a 
fact, and a most curious one, too, that after 
a player attains a fair degree of proficiency, 
it is much harder for her to hole a putt of 
this length than it has been when she was 
much less expert in her general play. 

It is a case of when too much knowledge 
is a dangerous thing, although not one of 
" where ignorance is bliss 'twere folly to be 
wise." 

The reason for this apparent anomaly is 
that in holing a putt of a yard or less there 
is no particular credit. Everyone expects 
you to do it. You expect to do it, and you 
know everyone else expects so, too. It really 
looks so very easy, and in the early days of 
one's apprenticeship it would be, because one 
would go out with serene confidence that it 
would be impossible to miss it. After one 
has become something of a golfer, however, 
a long line of sad experiences which go to 



152 



GOLF FOR WOMEN 



prove that it is quite possible, nay, even 
probable, that one will miss it, takes away this 
bland and cheerful confidence; and as one 
reflects on the putt, the resultant laughter 
which will follow if one misses, and the 
anger which will fill one's own mind, one 
becomes nervous, and unless one takes one's 
courage in hand at once and plays the putt 
boldly, disaster is sure to follow. 




CHAPTER Xr 

PUTTING (concluded) and tournament 

PLAY 

NEXT to having one's eye " right," 
the most essential thing for suc- 
cessful putting is confidence, and 
this is the explanation of the high average 
that one can score when out on a green, prac- 
ticing alone ; so much higher, alas ! than the 
best one can do in a regular match or compe- 
tition of any kind. 

The fact that there will be dire conse- 
quences ensuing if the putt is missed has a 
most nerve-wrecking effect, and the more a 
player ponders over the shot, the more ner- 
vous she will become. However, I do not 
by any means advocate hasty or careless 
putting. 

One of the truest and best-known axioms 
153 



164 GOLFFORWOMEN 

of the game owes its origin to the putting- 
green, and it is, " Never up, never in." 

This is absolutely true, for, while the ball 
may go to the cup, it can never come to the 
ball. Consequently the first principle to im- 
plant firmly in one's mind when one reaches 
the green is always to be " up," or, in other 
words, always play the stroke strongly enough 
to run past the hole, if the ball does not go 
in. It is really surprising how fast a ball 
may be traveling and yet be caught by the 
rim of the cup, if it strikes it directly in the 
center; and playing boldly for the back of 
the cup is one of the never-failing distinctive 
earmarks of the " class " golfer. 

When the putt to be negotiated is a yard 
or less long, one should hit the ball with 
sufficient force to send it about six inches to 
a foot past the cup, while from a longer dis- 
tance one should play to overrun from two 
feet to a yard. 

The advantages of this policy are many. 
In the first place, you will hit the ball with 



TOURNAMENT PLAY 155 

more confidence the harder you strike It, and, 
as I said above, confidence holes quite as 
many putts in a round as does skill. Then, 
again, a ball rolling swiftly is much less likely 
to be deflected from a true course by rough 
places in the turf than is one which is going 
slowly, and the hard-hit putt consequently 
goes down many times, when the gently 
tapped ball would be turned to one side by 
a bit of earth or a spear of wire-grass, and 
perhaps rim the cup. 

Besides all these points, there is a glow 
of satisfaction which steals over one as the 
ball is heard banging against the back of the 
cup and dropping down with a thud. The 
feeling is not only an extremely satisfying 
one at the moment, but Induces an accession 
of confidence at the next shot, and many 
more thereafter. And this is worth a good 
bit in a hard-fought match. 

With all the above facts and fancies re- 
garding the theory of putting inculcated, the 
next thing to do is to try to make the shot. 



166 GOLF FOR WOMEN 

There are two prime essentials in the put- 
ting stroke,— one the grip, and the other the 
stance. To take up the former, the accom- 
panying illustration shows clearly what I have 
found to be the best method. The club should 
be held firmly, but not so tightly that the 
muscles are rigid, and it may be held at either 
extreme of the leather on the handle, or at 
any intermediate place. Just as it is a wise 
plan to change the putting stance and the club 
itself when one finds that everything is not 
going as well as it ought, so it is a good plan 
to change occasionally the spot where one 
grasps the club. 

There are three ways in which one may 
stand to negotiate putts, and each in turn de- 
serves recognition. The first is standing with 
the main portion of the weight on the left 
foot; the next, with the greater amount on 
the right foot ; and the third, with the weight 
resting equally between the two feet. 

When the first method is used, the ball is 
placed nearer the left foot, and inversely 



TOURNAMENT PLAY 157 

when the second is employed, it is nearer the 
right. 

With the grip and stance satisfactorily ar- 
ranged, the next problem is how to hit the 
ball so that it will go into the hole. The first 
thing to consider is whether or not the lay of 
the ground between the ball and the cup is 
such that it would roll in, if it were hit with 
absolute accuracy. If this were usually so, 
putting would be robbed of half its terrors. 
Unfortunately, such is not the case. There 
are few putting-greens over which one does 
not have to calculate more or less for the un- 
dulation of the ground, and here is where 
some of the finest headwork called out in the 
entire game is displayed. Many players go 
to the opposite side of the hole from that at 
which the ball is lying and study its line from 
there, supplementing this scrutiny by another 
observation from the back of the ball, along 
the line to the hole. I believe, except in ex- 
ceptional circumstances, that this is quite 
sufficient, and that trying to study the line 



158 GOLF FOR WOMEN 

from the other side only confuses one, 
and thus destroys the advantage already 
gained. 

In calculating a putt, where it is necessary 
to allow for anything except the force and 
stralghtness with which one hits the ball, the 
best plan, I have found. Is to take a small 
piece of grass or something similar, play di- 
rectly for that, and trust that the lay of the 
ground will send the ball down Into the 
cup. 

In all putting, and particularly In such In- 
stances, judgment plays an important part. 
• Little things, like remembering to play a 
putt on a rolling hill-side so that if the cup 
is missed the ball will stop on the downward 
instead of the upward side, from which It is, 
of course, easier to hole ; using a putting-cleek 
with a loft to it instead of a straight-faced 
putter when the green is particularly fast; 
and there are a dozen other similar nuances 
serving to distinguish the good player from 
the bad one. 



TOURNAMENT PLAY 159 

One of the most prominent is the question 
of playing for the hole or for a half, and 
many a match has been won or lost by good 
or bad judgment here. If one has only one 
stroke for a half, then by all means take any 
chance to hole the ball. For if the chance 
comes off, you are saved, and if not, you are 
lost anyhow. But when one has one to win 
or two to halve, and the match not at a des- 
perate score, it is much better to get a sure 
half than try wildly to win, and end by not 
even getting a half. All that can be done is 
to point out similar instances, and leave the 
actualities to the player herself. And in 
speaking of judgment, the quality and nature 
of the greens to be played over are quite as 
important factors in deciding whether or not 
to change the putter as is the fact that one 
is putting badly. 

On a really smooth and true green, with 
any keenness at all, the regular putter is quite 
as good a club as any, although many players 
prefer a putting-cleek under any and all cir- 



160 GOLF FOR WOMEN 

cumstances. The advantage of it lies in the 
fact that it has a slight loft, and as this loft 
imparts a little back spin or cut to the ball, it 
can be hit harder, with less chance of over- 
running the hole, than if it were struck with 
the ordinary straight-faced putter. No mat- 
ter what the club head may be, however, one 
should see that the shaft is stiff, as it is there- 
fore much easier to gauge the amount of 
force required. 

Wooden putters I consider distinctly in- 
ferior to metal, both from the fact that one 
cannot hit so hard with them, and greater 
delicacy of touch is therefore necessary, and 
from the fact that a ball is more liable to be 
deflected from its course off one of them than 
it is from a metal club. But some players use 
them with good effect for what are really 
short approach shots. 

Putting, after all, is really a question of 
hitting the ball with the club face absolutely 
at a right angle to the hole, for if the ball 
strikes the back of the cup directly in the 



TOURNAMENT PLAY 161 

center, it will stop and go in, even if running 
with a pretty fair speed, and it is for this 
reason that one sees good players always 
rest the club for a second in front of the ball 
before putting, it being, of course, easier to 
get a line, without the ball to interfere with 
the line of vision. 

Of course, the old injunction of " keep 
your eye on the ball " still holds its impor- 
tant position in the categories of golf, and 
likewise the injunction not to move the head. 
The body, also, for the first time should be 
held immovable, for, in putting, the whole 
stroke should be made with the arms and 
wrists, and principally the latter. Still they 
should not be allowed to predominate so 
greatly that there is anything like a jolt in 
the striking of the ball. 

It should be a distinct hit, not a shove, but 
the club should follow through after the ball, 
and on a straight line along the line of the 
putt desired. The elbows should be held in 
well to the sides, as this makes it easier for 



162 GOLF FOR WOMEN 

the club to follow through straight. The 
eyes should be fastened at a point just a frac- 
tion of an inch back of the center of the ball, 
and great care taken not to look up for at 
least a second after the ball has been struck 
by the putter, and it is really remarkable 
what a difference in one's putting this last 
point makes. In putting, I think a vast 
majority of players have a tendency to 
slightly pull the ball, just as in driving, the 
majority have a tendency toward a slice; and 
if one finds such is the case, try to hold the 
left elbow closer to the side. 

STYMIES 

So much for putting when there are only 
the ordinary troubles of ground and space 
to overcome. It is hard enough, even then, 
to put the ball into the cup ; but when to these 
difficulties is added what is known as a stymie 
the problem becomes difficult indeed. A 
stymie is that condition when the balls on 
the putting-green are directly in the line of 



TOURNAMENT PLAY 163 

play and more than six inches from each 
other. 

There are three ways of getting your 
ball into the hole under these circumstances. 
One is to loft your ball over the other in a 
straight line; the second to roll it along the 
ground, and put a bias on it so that it will 
curve to one side of the other, go around 
die obstruction, and into the hole ; thirdly, by 
striking the offending ball hard enough to 
knock it out of the way, and let yours follow 
on and go down. 

Lofting the stymie is the more common 
way out of the difficulty, and the club with 
which to attempt it is a mashie, and the one 
with the most loft of any you own. The 
shot must be made entirely with the wrists, 
and the club cut under the ball without touch- 
ing the turf. It is one of the most difficult 
of all shots, but as stymies must be played in 
all match-play tournaments, it is well worth 
cultivating. 

The curve putt is made by turning the 



164 GOLF FOR WOMEN 

face of the putter considerably to either the 
right or left, according as to which side the 
curve is desired, and hitting the ball so that 
the club is either drawn in or forced out, as 
the case may be, thus producing the desired 
" English " and its consequent curve. 

TOURNAMENTS 

No better fun, to my mind, can be im- 
agined than playing in a tournament, whether 
it be a " picked-up " affair, arranged in five 
minutes, with a half-dozen starters, or a na- 
tional event, which has been planned about 
and thought about for months, nor is there 
anything which will be of more benefit to 
one's game than participation in tournament 
play. 

It gives a zest to the match which a man 
perhaps may enjoy by wagering his opponent 
on the number of strokes or holes he will be 
up or down, but which a woman can obtain 
only in this way, and it also has a steadying 
effect on nerves. 



TOURNAMENT PLAY 165 

After playing in a few tournaments, the 
feeling of nervousness, which is bound to 
come to the most stout-hearted players in 
their first close match, wears away, and 
nothing more is thought of it. 

The " gallery," as the crowd which follows 
the more important matches in big tourna- 
ments is called, is apt to have a very de- 
moralizing effect on the player unaccus- 
tomed to spectators, but this is soon for- 
gotten. 

I do not believe that a woman should sub- 
ject herself to any especial preparation for 
a tournament, except to get plenty of rest 
and sufficient practice in the two or three 
weeks before the tournament, so as to be at 
the top of her game. Such practice should 
consist of the usual routine, but should never, 
under any circumstances, be continued up to 
the very day of the tournament. Even if 
you should feel that you are in woeful need of 
practice, it is best not to touch a club for at 
least two days before the tournament. The 



166 GOLF FOR WOMEN 

reason for this is that if you play each day up 
to the beginning of the tournament, by about 
the twentieth or thirtieth day of it you have 
become overgolfed, and this means certain 
defeat. 

One should always endeavor to play in 
practice against a stronger player, for in this 
way one becomes accustomed to being 
" down " throughout the match and outdriven 
from the tee. Consequently if one meets 
these conditions in a match, it is accepted 
as a matter of course, while if accustomed to 
being always the leader, it has a demoraliz- 
ing effect to play someone who is as good as 
or better than one's self. 

Tournaments in America are almost in- 
variably arranged to begin with an eighteen- 
hole (or, for men, sometimes a thirty-six 
hole) qualifying round at medal or stroke 
play, the makers of the best eight or sixteen 
or thirty-two scores, as the case may be, con- 
tinuing on at match or hole play. 

This is, all in all, the best way to conduct 



TOURNAMENT PLAY 167 

a tourney, I think, for it not only gives a 
chance to as many as wish to compete, but it 
makes it necessary for a player to be adept 
at both medal and match play. There are 
many old-fashioned persons who maintain 
that only match play is golf, and that it is the 
only form of the game which should be con- 
sidered, but I do not agree with them. No 
one can be considered a really high-class 
golfer who cannot play well at either form of 
the game. 

In tournaments it is popularly supposed 
that the players are drawn by chance to play 
as partners on the qualifying round, but the 
Goddess of Fortune usually receives a little 
aid from the tournament committee in making 
her selections. This is quite as it should be, 
for the entry list contains players of every 
imaginable amount of ability, and to force 
a first-class player to play with a fourth-rank 
enthusiast, who has entered in hopes of a 
miracle happening, is manifestly unjust to 
both, — to the best player, because the poor 



168 GOLF FOR WOMEN 

play of her partner makes her play carelessly, 
and a little sympathetically, as it were, while 
the poorer player, after a few holes, becomes 
demoralized at the superior play of her 
partner, and " presses " in a vain attempt to 
hold the same pace, with the consequence that 
she returns a score several strokes worse than 
it should be. 

The question of whether or not the draw 
for the match play should be " arranged " or 
left solely to chance has many good argu- 
ments on either side. Those who advocate 
that it should be left to chance point to the 
fact that sometimes one player will have a 
series of desperates matches to reach the final 
round, while the other contestant will have 
a very easy time. A case in point is the na- 
tional championship tournament of 1899, 
when Mrs. Caleb Fox, the runner-up, in order 
to reach the finals, had to meet Miss Beatrix 
Hoyt (the title-holder). Miss Marion Oliver, 
and Miss Anna Sands, playing extra-hole 
matches with the two latter, while Miss Un- 



TOURNAMENT PLAY 169 

derhill, the ultimate champion, had a very 
easy time reaching the final. 

Another argument against the " arrang- 
ing " of the draw is that there are no two 
women in America, who stand so pre-eminent 
that it would be fair to put them at opposite 
ends of the draw, and give them as easy a 
path as possible to the finals. Such being the 
case, it seems to me that the partners for the 
qualifying round should be selected so as to 
give each person as equal a partner as possi- 
ble, but that In the match play chance should 
decide the drawings. 

In a tournament I believe that the best 
way to do Is not to try and defeat your op- 
ponents by an overwhelming score, or to 
strain every effort to leading the field in the 
qualifying round, but to play along with the 
greatest ease consistent with winning the 
match or qualifying. In this way, when the 
crucial test comes, you will be able to play 
at your very best, whereas, if one has ex- 
hausted one's energies in breaking records 



170 



GOLF FOR WOMEN 



and endeavoring to win by lo up and 8 to 
play in eighteen holes in previous days, this 
will be impossible. 

To be a successful tournament-player, no 
matter how skillful one may be, it is essential 
to be able to use the occasion, and " play 
better than one knows how," as the sporting 
papers say when the occasion demands it. 
Women, I am proud to say, show a relatively 
greater degree of nerve in golf than do men, 
and particularly is this so when on the putting- 
green. 




CHAPTER XII 

HAZARDS AND GENERAL REMARKS 

IN the instructions which I have given in 
the foregoing chapters I have written 
upon the supposition that the ball is 
lying upon the fair green and not in any 
hazard. The definition of the latter is, to 
quote from the rules of the United States 
Golf Association, " Any bunker, water (ex- 
cept casual water) , sand path, road, railway, 
whin, bush rushes, rabbit scrape, fence, or 
ditch. Sand blown in the grass, or sprinkled 
in the course for the preservation, bare 
patches, snow and ice are not hazards. Per- 
manent grass within a hazard shall not be 
considered part of the hazard." 

It will thus be seen that playing from a 
hazard carries so many conditions that ability 
to play out of one with the loss of but a stroke 
171 



172 GOLF FOR WOMEN 

at most, or perhaps without any loss at all, 
is a most valuable acquisition to one's game. 
As if the adverse natural conditions existing 
in a hazard were not enough to handicap the 
player the rules of the game provide that 
nothing in a hazard — such as a loose piece of 
dead wood, a stone, or anything which inter- 
feres with the performance of the stroke, 
and which, when existing on the fair green, 
can be moved — can be touched. 

In other words, no matter how bad the 
lie, the ball must be played as it is found. 

And the point which adds difficulty to the 
playing out of a hazard is that the rules pro- 
hibit the soling of one's club, the great ad- 
vantages of which one does not realize until 
one Is deprived of the benefit of so doing. It 
gives a steadiness to the stroke, an assurance 
to one's swing, and, above all, a confidence 
which is worth a great deal. The most im- 
portant consideration, when one finds the ball 
in a hazard, is to get it out. 

Of course if you can play it on the green, 



GENERAL REMARKS 173 

or if it is a hazard a long distance from the 
cup, get a shot of considerable length on 
the line to the hole, so much the better, but if 
this is impossible to do, be satisfied to get well 
out. It is much better to get well out, playing 
the ball in a directly opposite direction to the 
hole, than to play it straight for the hole and 
run a risk of not getting out. This applies 
only, of course, as a general thing. There 
are cases when it is do or die, and then every 
chance must be risked. 

As an instance, suppose you are in a bunker 
before a hole and playing 2 more than your 
opponent, who is on the green, and prac- 
tically sure to go down in 2 more. 

Your only chance is to get on the green 
from the bunker, and trust that you can get 
down in another, so that your opponent will 
miss her putt and give you a half. 

If playing medal play it would probably 
be better to play back, and surely get on in 
the next, than to run the risk of not getting 
over, for by that time you would have played 



174 GOLF FOR WOMEN 

so many more that the hole would surely be 
lost. That is, supposing you are playing 
match play. 

An alternative to either playing back or 
directly from the hole is to play over at an 
angle. 

If, however, there are reasons, — such as 
hazards on either side, or whatsoever it may 
be, — that cause you to decide not to try and 
play off at an angle, and you are going to 
play back, be sure that you go back far 
enough. 

It makes no difference whether you have 
to play a mashie-shot of ten or of twenty-five 
yards; and if you hit at the ball with a deter- 
mination to go the latter distance, you are 
pretty sure, even if you foozle, to go the 
former, while a foozle from a shot meant for 
the lesser distance will probably fail to get 
out of the hazard. 

It is also well to remember this point if the 
green is a long way off, for if one plays back 
far enough to use a driver or brassey instead 



GENERAL REMARKS 175 

of a mashie, the extra distance the wooden 
club will give will more than make up for the 
extra distance back one must play in order to 
be sure of clearing the bunker with it. 

Playing from, a bunker requires a very 
different sort of stroke than does playing a 
ball lying in the fair green. 

For a bunker shot it is not desirable to 
hit the ball cleanly, as it is when in the fair 
green. On the contrary, the point is to hit 
behind it and cut through the sand. 

In playing a bunker shot it is usually diffi- 
cult to get a firm stance, for the soft sand 
gives under your feet as the weight of the 
body swings over to the right, no matter how 
firmly one may think one is standing. It is 
well, therefore, after obtaining the stance 
wanted, to work one's feet into the sand, and 
get as near the foundation of the bunker as 
possible. It is also advisable to place the feet 
a little further apart than usual if one can 
feel natural and at ease when so doing, but if 
not, then use the regular stance. 



176 GOLF FOR WOMEN 

Grip the club firmly with both hands, for 
the stroke to be made is one of brute force. 
All finesse and delicacy of touch are forgotten. 
One must " club " the ball, and the more 
vertical the swing the better. 

It is because of this that many men who 
have been baseball players, and then taken 
up golf, play this sort of shot better propor- 
tionately than they do any other, for the 
swing is just like the one they learned when 
playing baseball. 

As it is the object to hit the sand behind the 
ball and not the ball itself, the eye should 
be fixed on a point an inch or two behind the 
ball. 

It is a good idea to hold the club for a 
second directly over this spot, being very 
careful not to let it touch the ground, and 
then swing it back as straight up as possible. 
In learning to play bunker shots, the natural 
tendency will be found to hit too near the 
ball, if not the ball itself, for the one great 
point which the learner has been trying to 



GENERAL REMARKS 177 

observe is to hit the ball, and therefore she 
will instinctively keep on trying to do so. 
Therefore it is better to try to strike the 
ground a couple of inches back of where one 
really wishes the club to come in contact with 
it, in order to allow for the instinctive and 
at first uncontrollable tendency to hit the 
ball. 

All the above points apply to bunker shots 
when there is a cop two or three or more feet 
high within a yard or so of the ball. When 
it is lying In a trap bunker, as are called those 
which are merely shallow sand pits without 
cups around them, a rounded swing, more 
like that used for a fair-green shot, may be 
used. One may also return to the original 
principle of hitting the ball instead of back 
of it, except that it is well to sclaff a little. 
When the ball is in long grass the same prin- 
ciples should be employed as when it is in a 
bunker, — that is, the straightest possible 
swing should be used, and the ground struck 
a few inches back of the ball instead of the 



178 GOLF FOR WOMEN 

ball itself. The reason for this is that if the 
rounder and longer swing is used, the grass 
is apt to catch it and break its force, and even 
if the force is not broken, to deflect it from 
its course. Another point to remember for 
use in an emergency, both when playing from 
a hazard, and at any other time, is that by 
turning the face of the club the ball can be 
made to fly at an angle, even when played 
with a straight swing, and this knowledge is 
often handy when there are trees or fences or 
other obstructions which make it impossible 
to play a full stroke in the direction in which 
it is wished to send the ball. 

Another point which most beginners seem 
to find impossible to comprehend is that the 
loft which its maker gave to a mashie or 
niblick is quite sufficient to loft the ball when 
it is struck with the ordinary stroke. Why 
this is such a diflScult matter to understand 
I cannot imagine, but it is a fact that nine 
out of every ten players make the mistake. 
That it is one, a moment's reflection will 



GENERAL REMARKS 179 

show, for if the club's face were not made 
as it is for just this purpose, why should it 
be changed from the straight face of a 
cleek ? 

Under no circumstances, therefore, try to 
make a swing which will aid the ball to rise 
— all that you need to do is to play the stroke 
correctly and see that you hit the ball. 

Of course if you are within a couple of 
feet of the high bunker, and it is surely a 
case of " lost hole," unless you clear it, it is 
advisable to turn the club in your hand so as 
to lay back its face a little, and to stand a 
little further behind the ball than usual, but 
under ordinary circumstances the club's face 
will do all that is required, provided you hit 
the ball squarely 

CADDIES 

The question of a caddie is a serious propo- 
sition, and it bears a very prominent relation 
to one's game. This is true of masculine 
golfers as well as feminine, in a measure, but 



180 GOLF FOR WOMEN 

its importance is much greater with the latter 
than with the former. 

The reason for this is merely a question 
of temperament. Men by all the laws of 
nature and science are much more independ- 
ent and self-reliant than women, and conse- 
quently they are much less apt to be influ- 
enced by the actions of their caddies. 

The duties of the caddie, to quote from 
the formal language of the United States 
Golf Association rulings, are simply to carry 
one's clubs; but besides this he may give 
advice. 

There has been considerable discussion 
aroused at the National Women's Golf 
championship of the past two or three years 
over the question of caddies, but it seems to 
have worked out its own salvation. The ar- 
gument first started over the fact that a 
number of the contestants in the tournament 
had excellent amateur golfers to carry their 
clubs and act as advisers. This was all very 
well for those who had plenty of friends at 



GENERAL REMARKS 181 

their call who could play good golf, but not 
every contestant was in so fortunate a posi- 
tion, and some of those who were not tried 
to equalize matters by hiring professionals. 

I can see no reason why this was not quite 
as fair as it was to have a first-class amateur 
act in that capacity, for, while the professional 
might be a little better player, he would be no 
better coach and have no better judgment 
than the amateur. As a matter of fact, he, in 
all probability, would not have the ability to 
inspire anything like the steadiness and con- 
fidence which the amateur, from his superior 
intelligence, would, and so would not be so 
useful at a most essential part of the duties 
of a caddie. Very few of the players seemed 
to realize this, however, and some rather 
severe criticism has been hurled at those who 
have had professionals to carry their clubs in 
tournaments. The chief accusation seems to 
be that it was taking an unfair advantage. 
This it might be were only one player to do 
so, but when more than half of the chief con- 



182 GOLF FOR WOMEN 

testants are doing it, I must confess I cannot 
acknowledge the justice of the insinuation. 
If everyone would agree to abolish every kind 
of caddie except the regulation small boy, who 
is merely useful as a means of propelling 
one's bag of clubs over the links, well and 
good, but until there is some such agreement, 
I think the matter is one of individual choice, 
and all players should be left to decide the 
point for themselves. Precedent certainly 
indorses the employment of professionals, or 
anyone else whom the player wishes. 

There has never been a question raised in 
America as to a man's using a professional if 
he so desired, and it has been done very fre- 
quently. Why, therefore, it should be con- 
sidered unfair or unsportsmanlike for a 
woman to have her clubs carried by the best 
caddie she can obtain I cannot understand. 
Not only in tournaments, but in general play, 
does the caddie play an important part. If 
he is a good one he is of much service, but I 
would much rather, and I think that nearly 



GENERAL REMARKS 183 

all players will agree with me, play a round 
with no caddie at all in preference to having 
a poor one. There really are no good 
caddies in this country except professionals. 
The average caddie on an American course 
is a boy ranging from ten to sixteen years of 
age, who looks upon the carrying of clubs 
as an irksome means of making money, and 
a thing which must be shirked as much as 
the good nature or ignorance of the player 
for whom he is carrying will permit. He 
knows nothing of the game. He is unable 
to tell you whether the distance of any shot 
Is such that you should use a mashie or a 
driver, and, above all, he never knows how 
many strokes your opponent or even you 
yourself have played. 

He insists upon lagging about ten yards 
behind you, and annoys you not only by his 
indifference in this respect, but never under 
any circumstances handing you the club neces- 
sary for the shot, even if you tell him yourself 
which one you want. 



184 GOLF FOR WOMEN 

The simplest part of his duty, building 
your tees, he cannot do properly; and if you 
are foolish enough to try to have him do it, 
he will either build you a miniature mountain 
of sand, or else put down such a tiny pinch 
that you will be forced to sclaff badly in order 
to hit the ball at all. As for finding your ball 
after a shot, the average caddie never thinlcs 
of such a thing. If you are fortunate enough 
to have driven it straight down the fair 
green, where it is in plain sight, this negli- 
gence of his will not prove costly, but if a slice 
or pull or a bad bound has sent it off the 
dcourse into long grass, or any other place 
where it will be difficult to see readily, the 
caddie will be the most absolutely helpless 
and ignorant person as to its whereabouts of 
anyone on the entire links. I have never had 
the pleasure of playing golf across the ocean, 
but from what I hear, the caddies over there 
are the exact opposite of the boys who make 
hfe for the American golfer a round of 
misery. There the caddies begin to carry 



GENERAL REMARKS 186 

clubs when they are as young as our Ameri- 
can caddies, but, unlike them, they do not 
give it up at the end of a year or two. On 
the contrary, many of them have spent their 
entire lives carrying golf clubs, and they 
know every inch of the distance and every 
spear of grass on the courses. They know 
even better than you, perhaps, what club you 
should use for each and every shot, and they 
are as keenly interested in your play and as 
jubilant over a good score as you ever could 
be yourself. A lost ball with one of these 
old Scotch caddies is an almost unheard-of 
occurrence, while I do not suppose there was 
ever one known to annoy his employer by 
lagging behind during the round. How to 
obtain a class of caddies of this caliber is 
one of the great problems of American golf, 
and until it is solved the game will lack the 
very highest acme of enjoyment. 

Conditions might be very much improved 
if the professional of each club would hold 
a sort of school for fifteen or twenty minutes 



186 GOLF FOR WOMEN 

each morning as soon as the caddies reach the 
clubhouse. He could explain to them just 
what their duties were, what they should do, 
and how they should do it, and if every club 
would adopt this idea, there is no doubt but 
that the caddie service would soon reach a 
much higher plane than it has at present. 

BALLS 

The evolution of the golf-ball has been 
rapid and radical in its development. For 
a great many years golf-balls were made by 
taking a round leather cover and stuffing it 
full of feathers, pounding them down so that 
several quarts of feathers were compressed 
into a globe about an inch arkd a quarter in 
diameter. 

After using this kind of ball for years and 
years, someone discovered that gutta-percha 
would make a much more lively and much 
more durable ball than the one of compressed 
feathers; and although its introduction was 
bitterly opposed by the best players of the 



GENERAL REMARKS 187 

time, its qualities were so superior that it 
quickly won its way, and for a long period 
of time was the standard ball. There were 
a great many makes, and they were made 
with different varieties of " nicks," and all 
were about equal in desirability and excel- 
lence. 

No one thought that there could ever 
be an improvement made upon the gutta- 
percha ball, but during the last three years 
Yankee genius has invented one which is as 
much superior to the " gutty " as the 
" gutty " was to the old feather ball. It is 
made by taking a rubber core, and winding it 
with a thread of pure rubber until it is very 
nearly the size required. (The regulation 
ball is of 27^ pattern, but there are some 
used 27 size and a few 28.) After the thread 
of rubber, tightly stretched across, has been 
wound around the rubber core (the process 
being done by machinery, of course, to secure 
absolute mechanical accuracy), the ball is 
incased in a thin shell of gutta. This shell is 



188 GOLF FOR WOMEN 

not more than about one-sixteenth of an inch 
thick, as its only object is to furnish a surface 
upon which the nicks, necessary in order to 
obtain the greatest flight to the ball, can be 
made. Another consideration is that it may 
save the rubber thread from being cut by a 
stroke of the club, and by the stones on the 
course. The difference between this ball and 
the regulation " gutty " is, of course, in its 
resiliency. 

Experts who have used both balls differ as 
to whether they can get a longer one from a 
driver by using a " gutty " or the new rubber- 
filled ball, but all agree that one can obtain 
from ten to twenty-five yards farther with 
the new kind from an iron-shot. For the 
mediocre player there is no doubt that, the 
new ball is a distinct advantage. She 
can drive it much farther, whether she is 
using a wooden or an iron club; it will roll 
nearly as far after a topped shot as though 
it had been struck truly; and, best of all, it 
has a happy faculty of bounding along the 




MISS RHONA K. ADAIR, PUTTING. 



GENERAL REMARKS 189 

ground and jumping over the bunkers, which 
rejoices exceedingly the heart of a player 
who is accustomed to spending a large por- 
tion of her time in sorrow and sadness, striv- 
ing to play the aggravating ball from the 
hazard. It is not, however, so pleasurable a 
ball to use as the ** gutty," if one is playing a 
fairly good game, for a cleanly hit full shot 
from the latter gives a click, as the ball and 
club come in contact, which is the sweetest 
of music to a golfer; on the other hand, the 
rubber-filled ball flies off the club with a 
soft, squashy sound, as though one had hit a 
lump of putty. Still, it requires much less 
effort to drive it than does the " gutty," and 
as endurance plays a considerable part in 
golf matches, this is a strong point in its 
favor. 

No matter how much cut is put on a high 
approach shot, it is impossible to make the 
rubber-filled ball drop dead, and on some 
greens it is almost impossible to play it with- 
out running away past the hole. However, 



190 GOLF FOR WOMEN 

its advantages much more than counterbal- 
ance its disadvantages to my mind, and par- 
ticularly so for women. All golf-balls should 
be kept for some time before being used, the 
*' gutty " ball from eight or nine months to 
a year, and the rubber-filled ball a little less, 
and all balls, no matter what kind, are im- 
proved by being remade. This can be done 
by any golf-club maker, or molds can be 
bought for a few dollars in which a player 
can remake the balls herself. Sometimes the 
paint will chip off when the ball has been kept 
for a long time, but this may be remedied by 
dipping the ball in fairly hot water for a little 
while, in order to moisten up the paint. Care 
should be taken not to allow the ball to be- 
come soft by staying in the hot water too 
long, however, and in summer, during the ex- 
tremely hot weather, it is a good idea to keep 
one's golf balls in as cool a place as may be 
convenient. 

After a ball has been used for a 
little while, the most satisfactory thing to do 



GENERAL REMARKS 191 

and the most economical as well, is to send it 
to a professional or to one of the big ball- 
making manufactories, and have it remade. 
Any ball manufactory will do it for one dollar 
to two dollars a dozen, or they will exchange 
old balls for new ones. If, however, one de- 
lights in trying to do things for one's self, a 
can of paint prepared especially for renewing 
the whiteness of golf-balls may be purchased 
at any golf-goods store, and the player can re- 
paint them herself. The ball should first be 
soaked in a solution of potash or lye until the 
old paint has been entirely removed. Let 
them dry for a day or so, and then they can be 
painted, either with a brush or by taking some 
paint on the palm of one's hands and rolling 
the ball around in them. About four coats of 
paint will be required, and I think that one 
experience at trying to become a golf-ball 
maker will be all that anyone will require to 
satisfy herself that this is a department of the 
game better left to those who make a business 
of it. 



192 GOLF FOR WOMEN 

COURTESY 

The etiquette of golf suggests many little 
points of courtesy which any player of experi- 
ence would, from instinctive good breeding, 
recognize, but there are some little points 
which, through carelessness, are not always 
observed, and it would add much to the en- 
joyment of those playing on the same links, 
and detract nothing from their own pleasure, 
if their attention should be called to them. 
Of course any woman playing in a match 
whose opponent lost her ball, would, from in- 
nate courtesy, try to help her find it, and like- 
wise, no one would think of leaving the tee, 
having had the honor, before her opponent 
had played, nor would anyone think, no mat- 
ter how careless she might be, of moving or 
speaking while her opponent was preparing 
or making her shot. 

All these and many more matter-of-course 
courtesies are extended from one opponent to 
another, but there are some courtesies due to 



GENERAL REMARKS 193 

the players directly behind one, and also di- 
rectly preceding one, which are frequently not 
accorded, and it is to these that I wish to call 
attention. 

If you are playing in a match, in which 
your opponent is a very slow player, or if you 
are one yourself, or if, for any reason whatso- 
ever, you find that you are falling behind the 
player just preceding you, and are, in conse- 
quence, delaying all those behind you, it is 
only the courteous thing to allow the player 
behind to pass. So annoying and disastrous 
to good play is it to all those behind that I 
really think a rule should be framed providing 
that any player playing so slowly as to compel 
the player behind to wait, should be compelled 
to give way, and let the fastest players go on. 

As conditions are now, few players like to 
request permission to pass a player ahead of 
them, no matter how slowly the former is pro- 
ceeding, and many players are offended at 
such a request, thinking, most unnecessarily 
and unjustly, that such a request is almost in 



194 GOLF FOR WOMEN 

the light of an insult, or at least a reflection 
on their playing ability. Such is by no means 
the case. It is simply a recognition of the fact 
that some people naturally play faster than 
others, and if by the luck of the start a slow 
player begins her round early, she should be 
considerate enough to allow anyone who plays 
faster to pass her. 

If the conditions are reversed, and you and 
your partner are the faster players, you would 
naturally appreciate such courtesy, but, on the 
other hand, you should remember the feelings 
of those in front of you. The rules of the 
game provide that a player must not play a 
shot until the players preceding have played 
their second, but, unfortunately, this rule is 
very frequently forgotten, or at least over- 
looked. 

CORRECTING FAULTS 

No matter how good a player may be, there 
will inevitably come a time when she will get 
off with some club or another, and for a cer- 



GENERAL REMARKS 195 



tain time will be absolutely unable to make a 
shot with it. The very best way to regain 
one's skill, when this unfortunate state of af- 
fairs happens, is to take a complete rest and 
not touch any club for several days, or, if one 
feels that it is necessary to play, endeavor 
not to use this particular club. If a little rest 
does not put one back in form, take a dozen 
old balls, and practice that one particular shot 
for half an hour. In this way one will gener- 
ally be able to discover what is wrong, and 
this is not only the best way to practice to ob- 
tain skill, but it is by all means the best way of 
correcting faults. 




CHAPTER XIII 

GOLF COURSES FOR WOMEN 

GOLF in America has spread to such an 
astounding degree in the compara- 
tively few years of its existence that 
the links over which it is played are laid out 
on any and all sorts of ground. In Scotland 
and England the great majority of courses are 
laid out on flat sandy ground, and one does 
not have to use up the best part of one's 
strength in the physical exertion of climbing 
up and down hill. Owing to the varying char- 
acteristics of country in the United States, 
however, many popular links are laid out, 
from necessity, on ground which is so much 
up and down hill that a woman is really tired 
out from the exertion of walking before half 
the course is played. Even for a man, it is 
decidedly unpleasant to play over hilly links. 
196 



COURSES FOR WOMEN 197 

For a woman it makes the sport so arduous 
that it is only the most intense enthusiast who 
will play very steadily or for a very long time. 
In choosing, therefore, land on which to lay 
out a golf links, the first consideration, in my 
opinion, is to select ground over which it will 
be easy to walk. 

The ideal soil on which to lay out a golf 
course consists of a sandy subsoil, with a 
quick, thickly growing turf, a turf which will 
give at the impact of a club and which will 
grow again very quickly. This is the kind of 
soil which is found in almost every instance in 
England and Scotland, and it is only on ac- 
count of the recuperative powers of the turf 
there that permits of the really wonderful 
amount of play which goes on all over the 
foreign links. In this country Garden City 
approximates more nearly the ideal turf than 
does any other links, but the Chicago Golf 
Club at Wheaton, the Apawamis, Nassau, 
Morris County, Baltrusol, Glenview, and 
Midlothian Clubs also have splendid turf. 



198 GOLF FOR WOMEN 

To my mind, turf is a secondary consideration 
to a level or slightly rolling country, and I 
should, therefore, place it in the secondary 
point of consideration when fixing upon a site 
for a course. 

For the really scientific and high-class play- 
ing of the game of golf it is absolutely essen- 
tial that the distances and hazards of the 
course be so arranged that every good shot is 
rewarded and every poor one penalized. Un- 
fortunately, there are very few courses in 
America on which this is invariably the rule at 
each hole, although the number of properly 
laid out links is increasing every day. To a 
certain extent the rubber-filled ball which has 
come into prominence and popularity within 
the last year or two is responsible for this state 
of affairs, for playing with it, anyone gets a 
longer shot, and this is particularly empha- 
sized in the case of a woman. Consequently a 
hole which, when laid out to be two full shots 
with a wooden club, playing with the old 
gutta-percha ball, becomes, when played with 



COURSES FOR WOMEN 199 

the new one, a drive and iron shot, which, of 
course, is a bad hole, for the reason that if the 
drive is a bad one, one can still reach the green 
by using a driver or brassey for the second 
shot, instead of the iron, and thus be exactly as 
well off at the end of the two shots as though 
the first one had been played perfectly and the 
second played with an iron. It is this sort of 
thing which breaks a good player's heart. She 
says to herself, " What is the advantage of 
my making a drive forty yards further than 
my opponent, if the latter can be on the green 
in two, just as well off as I am, even though 
she may have used a driver, while I played 
with a mashie." In laying out a course, there- 
fore, the first thing to be considered is that 
each hole should be one, or two, or three, or 
four, as the case may be, full shots from tee to 
green. In considering what distance a full 
shot should be counted one must endeavor to 
strike the distance which a first-class player 
averages to drive. For a woman, i6o or 170 
yards is a fair distance, and for a man 20 or 



200 GOLF FOR WOMEN 

30 yards may be added to that. In deter- 
mining the distances of the holes, however, 
the natural lay of the land must be taken into 
consideration and, as in everything else, an 
arbitrary rule must give way to common sense. 
For instance, if the line of play Is over a slight 
down grade one can count on ten or fifteen 
yards' roll for the ball, while if it is over a 
shght up-grade a similar distance must be 
subtracted from the number determined upon 
as the average full shot to counterbalance the 
fact that there would be little less flight and 
much less roll than if a shot were played on 
r an absolutely level piece of ground. 

HAZARDS 

The distances of the holes, however, are not 
the only requisites for the laying of a first- 
class golf links. The proper placing of the 
various hazards which lend a spice and variety 
to the performance of the shots play a very 
important part in the construction of a scien- 
tific course. In the first place, there should 



COURSES FOR WOMEN 201 

never be a hazard placed so as to endanger a 
good shot, let alone trap a phenomenally good 
one. This would seem to be the most ordi- 
nary of common sense, but I have frequently 
seen bunkers and hazards so placed that the 
exceptionally long player was worse off than 
the short driver. The fundamental principle 
of arranging the hazards is to punish every 
poor shot without placing any good shot in 
jeopardy, and if this principle is kept firmly in 
mind there will be comparatively little trouble 
in arranging the course properly. A hazard 
does not need to be formidable to have all the 
effect which is its purpose. The moral effect 
of a hazard is usually quite as great if it is 
a bunker three feet high as if it is ten, and 
as the moral effect is quite as important as the 
material difficulty to be surmounted, the 
smaller one is consequently quite as useful as 
the other. 

In my opinion it is not necessary or even 
advisable to have hazards on a course from 
which it is extremely difficult to get out. 



202 GOLF FOR WOMEN 

I think that one shot lost is quite penalty 
enough in medal play, and, as for match play, 
if one can't win the hole after receiving the 
advantage of a stroke, then one deserves to 
lose it. In my tournament experience I have 
seen so many first-class players fail to qualify 
in a medal play round simply because one bad 
shot landed them in a hazard so difficult that 
it required six or eight strokes to get out on 
the fair green again, and their chances for the 
entire tournament or championship were lost 
just through this one bad stroke. It was a 
misfortune of this kind which caused Miss 
Frances Griscom, then the title-holder, to fail 
to qualify in the Woman's National Cham- 
pionship of 1 90 1, and many other nearly as 
notable instances will be recalled by anyone 
who has followed the tournament play of 
American women during the past few years. 
Not only should bunkers be made small 
enough, so that a really good player can get 
out in one stroke, but they should be turfed 
over, and then a rule made that the ball should 



COURSES FOR WOMEN 203 

be played from where it lay, and not dropped 
back a club's length. Another point is that 
for at least five or six feet back of the bunker, 
in the direction from which the shot is to be 
played, the turf should be taken up and the 
hole filled in with soft sand, in order that one 
can cut deeply under and behind the ball, and 
thus get over the bunker, a thing which is 
practically impossible when the soil is hard or 
turfed. 

The following table of distances should, in 
my opinion, form an almost ideal course for 
women's play, although, of course, the nature 
of the ground might cause some alterations to 
be necessary: 

I. — 365 yards, driver, brassey, mashie, 2 

putts. 
2. — 340 yards, driver, brassey, 2 putts. 
3. — 179 yards, driver, 2 putts. 
4. — 395 yards, driver, brassey, half-iron, 2 

putts. 
5. — 320 yards, driver, mid-iron, 2 putts. 



204 GOLP FOR WOMEN 

6. — 465 yards, driver, brassey, mid-iron, 2 

putts. 
7. — 280 yards, driver, half-iron, 2 putts. 
8. — 375 yards, driver, brassey, mashie, 2 

putts. 
9. — 400 yards, driver, brassey, mashie, 2 

putts. 
10. — 167 yards, cleek, 2 putts. 
II. — 335 yards, driver, cleek, 2 putts. 
12. — 300 yards, driver, mid-iron, 2 putts. 
13. — 378 yards, driver, brassey, mashie, 2 

putts. 
14. — 350 yards, driver, brassey, 2 putts. 
15. — 180 yards, driver, 2 putts. 
16. — 425 yards, driver, brassey, mashie, 2 

putts. 
17. — 387 yards, driver, brassey, mashie, 2 

putts. 
18. — 343 yards, driver, brassey, 2 putts. 
Total, 5984 yards. Bogie, 77. 



IMPRESSIONS OF AMERICAN GOLF 

BY MISS RHONA K. ADAIR 

I AM afraid that this is a pretty big subject 
to write about, for, to tell the truth, my 
individual impressions are not quite so 
keen as they might have been had they not 
been fogged a bit by the wave of pleasure and 
all-round jollity into which I was plunged al- 
most the moment I put foot on the steamship 
dock. 

Perhaps the best starting point is by a com- 
pliment which I can pay with the utmost sin- 
cerity to the American woman golfer. It is 
one equally deserved by Mrs. Charles T. 
Stout (who is, I consider, decidedly the best 
American woman player I have seen), and by 
the poorest player that has been at any of 
the courses over which I have played. 

This is in regard to their pluck. Never in 
205 



206 GOLF FOR WOMEN 

all my experience have I seen such universal 
grit, sand, or what I believe you call " nerve " 
as is displayed by every woman golfer In 
America. It is really astounding. I don't 
believe that there Is a bad sportswoman in 
America. Certainly, if there be one, I have 
not seen her. In England it is very uncommon 
/> to find a woman playing out a hole if she has 

A/ been bunkered, or yf?LS driven out of bounds, 

or is for any reason whatsoever playing sev- 
eral strokes more than her opponent. I find in 
America, that with the never-say-die spirit 
which I have always heard was typical of all 
America, they keep right on playing until their 
opponent's ball Is actually In the hole. Nor 
does this apply to one hole only of a match. I 
have seen women with a score of four down 
and five to go staring them In the face tee 
up with quite as much pluck and cheerfulness 
as they showed on the first tee, and in a good 
many instances with much more. That is the 
spirit which wins golf matches, and while I am 
loyal to the last to my home and friends, I 



AMERICAN GOLF 207 

must in fairness admit that American women 
seem better able to rise to a bad situation and 
play " better than they know how " when such 
a feat is demanded by the exigencies of the 
score, than either English, Irish, or Scotch 
women. 

It may be that I have been particularly for- 
tunate in the friends whom I have made in 
America and in the atmosphere into which I 
have been drawn at the tournaments I have 
attended. But it seems to me that there is a 
much greater degree of good-fellowship and 
sociability connected with your meetings than 
there is on the other side. During a match 
there it is quite as unusual for opposing play- 
ers to chat during the round as it seems to be 
unusual here for them not to do so, and in this 
way one, of course, gets much better ac- 
quainted than is possible when a round is 
made in silence, except for the formal cour- 
tesies and speeches of the game. Then, too, 
over here girls become better friends in a 
week's tournament than they would in Eng- 



208 GOLF FOR WOMEN 

land in two or three such meetings, and this, 
it seems to me, is one of the most charming 
features of American tournaments. 

A point which seems most curious to me is 
the difference shown in dress when golfing by 
American women. At home we wear about 
the same things whether the weather is pleas- 
ant or unpleasant. Over here, it seems to me, 
the girls pay rather more attention to their 
clothes and general " get-up " when the sun is 
shining than we ever do. But they also go to 
the other extreme, and when the weather is 
unpleasant they simply do not care what they 
wear. 

In England, dowdy and careless in 
dress as we are supposed to be, I have never 
seen women in such unbecoming and careless 
and rough costumes as I have seen here. So 
far 'as the nature of dress for play is con- 
cerned, I think we all dress about alike. A 
heavy pair of boots, any kind of a short skirt, 
and a waist which leaves one free for a good 
full swing are all that are necessary, and they 



AMERICAN GOLF 209 

are alike the world over. It is more common 
for women to wear gloves on the other side 
than it is here, I think, and that little detail 
is simply another link in the chain of plucki- 
ness of which I spoke above, the inference 
being that the American woman would rather 
take the trouble to massage and manicure out 
the grime which she is bound to accumulate 
without gloves than to run the risk of spoiling 
a shot by a glove slipping in her grasp. So 
far as clubs are concerned, I don't see any ap- 
preciable difference in those made here and 
those made on the other side, although per- 
haps we at home use a shghtly lighter club 
than the average woman here. After all, 
though, a good club's a good club, and must 
be suited to its owner and no one else. 

Of the American courses I have nothing 
but praise. They far exceed what I had "been 
led to expect, and while improvements could 
be suggested, one or two at which I have 
played rank quite on a par with the best links 
abroad. 



210 GOLF FOR WOMEN 

Of course the nature of the soil is different, 
and so are the turf and putting-greens, but 
the latter average to run quite as true as ours 
at home, although they are not, as a general 
thing, so large. I think that the average of 
putting should be better here than in Eng- 
land, for the reason that your greens are much 
slower than ours, and the slower the green the 
harder one can hit the ball. 

I have been simply astounded at the' excel- 
lence of links which I have been told were 
only three or four years old, for we believe 
that a course must have been played over 
several years more than that number to reach 
its greatest perfection. Should some of the 
links I have seen improve in the next few 
years as much as they have in the past, they 
will be the best in the world. 

American men may have an advantage over 
our masculine players through using a rubber- 
filled ball, but our women have adopted it al- 
most altogether, and I think that its use not 
only improves one's game, but adds a deal of 



AMERICAN GOLF 211 

enjoyment to playing, as with it one is not 
compelled to exert anything like so much 
strength to achieve the same results. 

This is a valuable point in any country, 
but particularly so in the United States, where 
I find that the climatic conditions are such 
that physique plays a very important part in 
one's golf. I think it is no exaggeration to 
say that it takes more strength to play an 
eighteen-hole round in the United States than 
to play thirty-six holes at home, and this is 
due solely to the atmospheric pressure and not 
to any appreciable difference in the lie of the 
land. 

Despite this fact, however, I do not think 
that there is much difference in the length of 
carry one obtains from a shot, the ball fly- 
ing to all practical purposes as well here as at 
home. 

It is because of the fact that thirty-six 
holes of tournament play are too much to 
ask of a woman in America in one day that I 
think that the qualifying round, as you play it 



212 GOLFFORWOMEN 

here, Is a decidedly necessary adjunct to tour- 
naments. I thoroughly believe that match 
play is the truest golf, and hope that at home 
we shall always decide our tournaments by 
it exclusively; but with the big fields which 
you turn out here, one of three things must be 
done in the decision of tournaments. Either 
there must be two rounds of eighteen-hole 
matches each day ; tournaments must last two 
weeks, or there must be a qualifying round, 
and this last is, by all odds, the best alterna- 
tive. 

There are, of course, other arguments in 
favor of the qualifying round aside from the 
one of time-saving. 

In the first place, it teaches carefulness and 
steadiness, and steadiness is what the Ameri- 
can player lacks more than any one other thing. 
Match play, with all its advantages, does in- 
duce a degree of carelessness in play when one 
feels that a hole is hopeless from the fact that 
one says, " Oh, well, one hole — what does it 
matter?" while in medal play, with every 



AMERICAN GOLF 2lS 

stroke counting, a moment's carelessness may 
mean loss of the medal or tournament. 

One great fault, which it seems to me is 
very prevalent in America, is in the fact 
that American women devote too much time 
to perfecting themselves in one stroke, and not 
enough to the all-round development of their 
game. I have found, in consequence, that the 
women here can average a much better drive 
than they can any other shot, for, as driving 
is the most pleasurable part of the game, they 
have developed their skill at that, without re- 
gard to iron-shots or putting. 

American women really drive quite as well, 
if not better, than do English women, and, 
for this reason, I am convinced that the time 
is not far distant when the standard of skill 
will be as high on this side of the ocean as it 
is on the other. If a team of six or eight 
American women come abroad next year, as I 
hope they will, I expect our team to defeat 
them, but from what I have seen here we shall 
have to bring out our very best players and 



914 GOLFFORWOMEN 

have them at the very top of their game to do 
so. 

By all odds the best woman player in the 
United States whom I have seen is Mrs. 
Charles T. Stout. I consider her, all things 
taken into consideration, a wonder, while 
Miss Margaret Curtis is a phenomenal driver, 
and at times an extremely brilliant player. 
She is so erratic, however, that she can- 
not be considered as being in Mrs. Stout's 
class. 

In fact, Mrs. Stout, I have been told, was 
considered by all good judges here to be quite 
in a class by herself, and from what I have 
seen I am quite prepared to accept their ver- 
dict as being true. Never have I seen a player 
display more ideal form than does she in every 
particular, and, in my opinion, she is quite the 
equal of any woman golfer in the world. Her 
play is a worthy model for every woman to 
pattern after, and, should she come abroad 
next year for the Ladies' English champion- 
ship, she would have a chance second to no 



AMERICAN GOLF 215 

one's of winning it. Besides the beautiful 
style in which she plays, the main beauty of 
her game is that it is so evenly developed, and 
not one stroke perfected at the expense of 
others. 

Of the American Amateur champion, Mr. 
Walter J. Travis, I can only express admira- 
tion. His game, while not as good relatively 
to that of our best amateurs, as is Mrs. Stout's 
to our best women's, is one which deserves the 
highest consideration in any company, and 
when I was told that he did not begin to play 
golf until several years past thirty, I was more 
than amazed. 

I have seen very few other of the high- 
class amateurs play here, but from what I 
have heard of the way Mr. Travis outclasses 
them, I do not think that they rank so well 
relatively with our amateurs as do the women. 

SHOT MOST NECESSARY 

In considering such a point as this. It must 
not be overlooked that on any links, and under 



216 GOLF FOR WOMEN 

any circumstances, it is putting which wins the 
match. 

In America, as I said above, it strikes me 
that women and men, too, pay far too much 
attention to driving, sacrificing everything to 
it, while at home, if any stroke is practiced to 
an undue proportion, it is putting. From the 
nature of the majority of the links over which 
I have played in America, I should say that 
ability to play a low, rolling-up approach shot 
would be as useful a shot as anyone could 
name. I had been told before my arrival that 
I would have to pitch up all my approach 
shots, and endeavor to have them drop dead, 
but I found that a running-up approach suf- 
ficed in most instances. 

CADDIES 

Really, the only thing in which I found 
America much" behind us at home was the 
caddies. 

Much as I hate to seem unpleasant or cap- 
tious, I must say that I consider the genus 



AMERICAN GOLF 



217 



caddie, as found on American links, the worst 
fraud ever perpetrated. They know nothing; 
they are lazy and indifferent, and it is almost 
as much trouble to make them keep up with 
one on the journey round the links as it is to 
caddie for one's self. Generally they do not 
know one club from another. 

At home the caddies are usually men who 
have been born and brought up on the links, 
and are really almost as much use to a player 
as a professional is here. They are uniformly 
faithful and courteous. 




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III 

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